No mucking around in Moonambel

HISTORIC: A cheery picture of MAHG members Garry and Ray displaying their work. It’s been modified since, by two gaping holes from shotgun blasts on both sides.

HISTORIC: A cheery picture of MAHG members Garry and Ray displaying their work. It’s been modified since, by two gaping holes from shotgun blasts on both sides.

Sport can be an interesting insight into life.

Just ask Faf du Plessis,who was shocked to find that people didn’t like him sticking fingers down his throat, rubbing a lolly in his mouth and smearing the minty muck all over a cricket ball to change the way it moved through the air. Gosh. Who’da thunk that? But more on that later.

No, this time we are referring to the pretty central Victorian hamlet of Moonambel, just off the Sunraysia Highway near Avoca.

They have a splendid recreation reserve where groups can camp and which is served by a brand new pavilion and public amenities complex. But at the entrance to the ground is an indication that they play sport rather seriously there.

There’s a picturesque ticket box at the gate with a sign: “Moonambel Recreation Reserve: NO SHOOTING” It led to all sorts of images of disputed goal decisions, stumping reviews. Du Plessis wouldn’t dare tamper with the ball in Moonambel.

DTM did a little research on this and found the ticket box had recently been restored by the Moonambel Arts and History Group. 

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We find it disturbing that so many cricket authorities say ball tampering is almost universal and the only rule is don’t be too obvious.

If ball tampering is universal, imagine the condition of the ball by the end of the day. Saliva, spit and stuff are just the start. In famous cases over the years, international cricketers have been found to rub sunscreen lotion, hair gel, lip balm, lollies, dirt, grass and sweat into the ball. 

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Scientists have unearthed the teeth of a wombat the size of a four-wheel-drive in a dig at the Lancefield Swamp.

It’s an important scientific site, and among the thousands of beasties’ bits which have been unearthed are a kangaroo taller than a basketball ring and a marsupial lion with teeth that could slice meat like a Great White shark.

There’s one megafauna you wouldn’t want to meet on a dark night, its Latin names translates as The Demon Duck of Doom. It was a carnivorous bird more than 2m tall and weighing about a quarter of a tonne.

But what do Australians do when they find their town was once home to anything fierce, terrifying, or intimidating? They hold a festival. The second Extinct-Lancefield Megafauna Festival is on this weekend.

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