BBL final two teams decided: Scorchers v Hurricanes

THE Perth Scorchers have set up a Big Bash League final showdown with the Hobart Hurricanes following a narrow win over the Sydney Sixers.

But, it could have been a very different outcome.

NineMSN reports, at one stage Sydney looked to have been saved an epic run-chase and gifted an automatic passage to the final, due to rain at the SCG.

But just one minute before the match was due to be abandoned, the covers were off and the Sixers set a revised target of 54 off five overs.

Thirty one balls later, the home side pulled up five runs short.

Sydney’s exit meant the competition’s two biggest heavyweights the Melbourne Stars and the Sixers have been bundled out despite finishing No.1 and 2 on the ladder.

The Scorchers will host the Hurricanes in Perth in the decider tomorrow night

Man charged with sexual assault of elderly woman

THERE has been a major breakthrough in the investigation into the sexual assault of an elderly woman on the Tweed.

A 34-year-old man has been charged, following a tip-off.

Around 8pm on January 29, a 76-year-old woman answered a knock at the door of her Kingscliff unit and was confronted by the man, who allegedly forced his way into her home and sexually assaulted her.

The man fled and emergency services were alerted.

The woman was taken to Tweed Heads Hospital for treatment while police established a crime scene at the unit which was examined by specialist forensic officers.

Following information received, detectives executed a search warrant at a home on Yao Street, Kingscliff, on Monday.

The man was arrested at the home after 100 cannabis plants were located and seized.

He was taken to Tweed Heads Police Station where he was charged with drug-related offences and underwent forensic procedures.

As a result of those tests, the man was taken to Lismore Police Station where he was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault.

The man was bail refused to appear at Casino Local Court today.

Titans name squad for Warriors’ trial match

THE Titans’ squad for this weekend’s trial match against the Warriors will fly out of the Gold Coast for New Zealand tomorrow.

Yesterday, Coach John Cartwright named Brad Tighe, Kalifa FaiFai Loa and Siuatonga Likiliki in the backline, giving the recruits their first chance to impress on Sunday.

Tighe (Penrith Panthers) and Likiliki (Newcastle Knights) will both line-up in the starting centres, while former North Queensland Cowboys flyer Kalifa FaiFai Loa has been selected on the wing.

Former Bulldogs NYC Under-20s stand-out Paul Carter, the son of premiership winning Penrith five-eighth Steve Carter, has been named as starting hooker in his first match in Titans colours.

Former Melbourne Storm centre Maurice Blair and former Rabbitohs NYC Under-20s halfback Christian Hazard have also been selected to make their unofficial Titans debuts from the interchange bench.

Rising playmakers Aidan Sezer and Albert Kelly will again form the club’s halves combination, while prop Matt White will play his first match in 12 months after undergoing a knee reconstruction.

The squad will remain across the Tasman for 10 days in the build-up to the inaugural Auckland Nines tournament from February 15-16.

Co-captains Greg Bird and Nate Myles haven’t been named in the squad.

12 arrested following police raids on the Gold Coast

POLICE have arrested 12 people on a number of drug charges after conducting several raids on the Gold Coast today. 

The Bulletin reports officers from Operation Lima Kingsnake raided five homes on Wednesday morning.

A quantity of methylamphetamine and cannabis were seized and a sophisticated hydroponic system was located.

As a result, police arrested and charged 12 people on 34 drug related charges.

Senior Sergeant Chris Ahearn from Palm Beach said the operation formed part of a broader strategy in targeting criminal behaviour on the coast.

“We consistently and tragically see that drugs destroy lives and their links to broader criminal offending,” he told the Bulletin.

“We urge any member of the public who has information concerning the use, sale or manufacture of illicit drugs to come forward to police and provide that information.”

Today’s busts come after police seized more than 1200 cannabis plants from bushland in Uki, near Murwillumbah, south of the border on Tuesday.

It is estimated the plants had an estimated street value of $2.5 million.

Southerly surge delivers rain, 70km/h winds

A SOUTHERLY surge has moved through the Gold Coast, delivering heavy showers, strong winds and sending temperatures plummeting.

A 72km/h wind gust was recorded at the Southport Spit when the cool change moved through the area at around 2.30pm.

The Gold Coast Seaway has recorded 5mm of rain from 3pm to 5pm, Springbrook 22mm, Coolangatta 19mm and Tallebudgera Creek 11mm. The Tweed has collected 18mm.

Showers are still lingering around parts of the coast and should ease as the evening progresses.

At 4.30pm, southerly winds were gusting at around 67km/h with sustained winds of 50km/h along the coast.

Temperatures have dropped from 29.6 degrees at 12.30pm to now 20.8 degrees at 5pm.

The surge is currently moving through Brisbane and should reach the Sunshine Coast later this evening.

Image courtesy Ash Chynoweth.