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Playing for the family honour

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BY ALEX TIGANI

Chad Vesper knows what it takes to take out a Singleton Golf Club Championship title.

He has already claimed the feat in 2016 and 2018 so, with a four shot lead ahead of this Saturday’s third round, it would make sense that the sequence would continue.

“I hope to get the win, I’m nervous going in but we will see what happens,” he explained.

However his motivation is a little bit different on this occasion.

“My daughter Jasmine won the women’s title this year so my aim is to have our name on both boards for 2020,” he continued.

“I’m not sure if the men’s winner and women’s winner have been in the same family in the same year so it could be the case if all goes well.”

MEANWHILE the Scone Golf Club Championships will also commence this weekend (see story).

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The drought is over for the Singleton Strikers

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BY ALEX TIGANI

The Singleton Strikers made history this afternoon when ending their 28-year Northern League One premiership drought at Magic Park.

The Strikers celebrated a 2-0 win over minor premiers New Lambton to cap off arguably the greatest season in club history.

THE GOAL: Joel Barner pictured scoring Singleton’s opening goal of the 2020 Northern League One grand final.

First year recruit Joel Barner landed the first goal of grand final (27′) in just his 17th appearance for the club.

Singleton’s second was an own goal after the main break (a Brad Cox attempt rebounding off New Lambton’s Corey Nicholas) while, on the other end, goal-keeper Corey Cleaver made save after save.

Cleaver would finish with eight clean sheets for the season including all three finals.

HE’S A KEEPER: After 125 first grade appearances for the Singleton Strikers, Corey Cleaver celebrates his first Northern League One premiership.

“This is the best feeling ever, very hard to explain,” Barner told The Hunter River Times.

“This win is a credit to the boys, the committee and the supporters that came along to watch.”

Prior to the match, past president Dave Andrews had the claim of being the only Striker to score a goal in a grand final.

IN TEARS: Past player and president Dave Andrews proved emotional throughout the game. Prior to this afternoon, he was the only man to have scored for Singleton in a Northern League One grand final.

He proved to be the catalyst for the club’s historic 1-0 win against Stockton that famous afternoon in 1992.

Andrews was finally joined by Barner in the exclusive club some 10,283 days later.

“There was an 18-yard box, all I had to do was turn and hit it,” Barner concluded.

“I had the top left in my mind and luckily enough it went in.”

(MORE TO COME)

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Slade hopes to cap fairytale season with premiership glory

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BY ALEX TIGANI

There are two scenarios for Brendan Slade this evening.

If the Singleton Strikers can hold off New Lambton in the Northern League One grand final then he first year mentor will be the second coach in the history of the club to claim ultimate prize.

If they are unsuccessful, there will still be positives.

For the first time since 2004 the Strikers made the finals.

For the first time since 1992 they made the grand final.

And for the first time in history they were the only men’s football code in Singleton to make the big dance in a particular year (having shared their 1992 success with the Bulls).

“It has been a fairytale season,” Slade said on Thursday evening.

“The boys and the committee have been fantastic since Day 1 and everyone has been so lovely and welcoming.”

It was on this weekend in 2019 he was introduced to his new playing group at the Royal Hotel.

Fast forward to this week and he conducted the club’s grand final training session only metres away at Victoria Square (following heavy Thursday rainfall which washed out Howe Park).

“You could see the hunger in the group early on and the ability was here,” Slade reflected.

“They probably just needed the reinsurance that we could make finals football.”

This afternoon’s grand final line-up will be led by Hayden Nicol who Slade has described as a ‘calming influence’.

Down back, Corey Cleaver will aim for his eighth clean sheet in goal for 2020 after achieving the feat only once in 2019.

Sadly, Singleton’s most capped player Jackson Cox will remain sidelined due to injury.

“We feel for Jacko because he has played over 150 games for the side but we just have to do the job for him next year,” Slade concluded.

The grand final will take place at 5pm this afternoon and will be streamed live on bartv.com.au

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Parnell eyes junior club championship title

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BY ALEX TIGANI

Singleton teenager Drew Parnell once considered himself as a footballer who played tennis.

Yet after two years of hard work at the Howe Park Tennis Club the 15-year-old now describes himself as a tennis player who plays football.

He will be one of many to watch at this weekend’s club championships.

Today the club will conduct its senior tournament before Parnell and the club’s rising stars take to the courts for the junior championships on Sunday.

“Last year I finished runner up in the singles and won the doubles so hopefully this year I can take out both,” Parnell explained.

For more information visit the Howe Park Tennis Club Page.

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Slade hopes to cap fairytale season with premiership glory
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