TOPICS: Ice hockey champions flyhigh with silverware

The Goodall Cup in the best seat on the flight back from Melbourne after Newcastle’s North Stars’ ice hockey triumph. AMAZING, the doors that open when you’re Newcastle’s latest sporting champions (did we just type that?), the North Stars.

The new champs beat Melbourne in the Australian Ice Hockey League final on Sunday and, amid a likely rush on hockey sticks at Rebel, are soaking up the fame.

They even smuggled their silverware – the impressive Goodall Cup – into the cockpit (pictured) of their flight out of Tullamarine. The pilots asked for a photo, we’re told.

The trophy is one of the oldest in Australian sport, first awarded in 1909, but don’t worry about its post-Mad Monday state. The original is on display in a museum in Toronto, Canada (not Tronna), while the players make do with a replica

Our favourite maggie. Picture by Darren Pateman

SOME things define spring (which starts today!) – the hope of the Knights making the eight, hayfever, and magpies. And here we are again. Two out of three.

About the maggies, Mayfield West-based Nick Kachel of the CSIRO asks why do magpies swoop on humans. ‘‘Is it to defend their young, or their territory? Or are they just bird jerks?’’

In other words, are they Liam Neeson in Taken, Mel Gibson in Braveheart, or Gibson in real life? Scientists agree that Neeson comes into it: magpies attack to defend their families. But that doesn’t explain why they target specific humans. That’s more Mel Gibson.

Whatever it is that riles magpies, some brave scientists in Canberra proved how not to ward off an attack. In 2010, an aggro maggie was nesting above a cycle path near the CSIRO Black Mountain site.

‘‘With all types of magpie-repelling adornments being attached to cycle helmets with varied successes, and [figurative] public service and academia corpses littering the notorious path, our enterprising colleagues decided to add some scientific scrutiny to the debate: how do you deter a mad magpie?’’ says Kachel.

The geeks, after riding back and forth through a storm of beak and claw, found that going helmet-less was a better magpie deterrent than cable ties or fake eyeballs. But good luck making the case for no helmets. Bird and human seem locked in a springtime standoff, forever.

STILL on spring, this sign (pictured) by Cherry Road Nursery at Eleebana said what we were all thinking.

IF anyone deserves a few days off her feet, it’s Brodie Williams, of Belmont, who walked 100kilometres non-stop.

Seventy of them with blisters.

Brodie Williams, of Belmont, during the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker.

Brodie, 21, teamed up with gym-mates Chris Pascoe, Ben Micallef and Gemma Walker to complete the Oxfam Trailwalker trek from the Hawkesbury River to Balgowlah on Sydney’s North Shore in a tick over 27 hours. It sounds pretty hard.

The feet of Brodie Williams, of Belmont, during the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker.

‘‘You’re walking through the night, and you support each other. Otherwise I would have stopped with 5km to go. Everyone gets delusional,’’ says Brodie.

‘‘I had blisters at 30 kilometres, so I was hobbling along.’’

The team raised more than $5000 for Oxfam.

The feet of Brodie Williams, of Belmont, during the 100km Oxfam Trailwalker.

​Email Tim [email protected]杭州夜网 or tweet @TimConnell or phone 4979 5944

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