Our top 10 best sport photos from 2014

THE Observer's sports report Jake Jones has put together his selection of the best local sport photos from 2014.

1. Sparks vs Meteors hockey

Photographer - Mike Richards

Date - Saturday April 12

Subject - Jason McLay, Meteors A1 Goalkeeper

Where - Rigby Park

What happened? McLay was caught in full flight making a save on a penalty corner from Gladstone rivals Sparks.

Saves like this one helped the Meteors win the match 2-1.

The goalkeeper's services were lost mid-year though when he injured himself and was ruled out for the remainder of the season.

He hopes to be back in the pads in 2015 to once again make saves like the one pictured.

Sparks vs Meteors Hockey - Meteors' goal keeper Jason McLay.
Sparks vs Meteors Hockey - Meteors' goal keeper Jason McLay. Michael Richards

2. Tannum Sands Nippers

Photographer - Jake Jones

Date - Sunday, November 16

Subjects - Peter Gallen and Lily McClure, 9

Where - Tannum Sands Beach

What happened? After training at the beach as part of the Central Queensland Capras pre-season, a number of the rugby league players took part in a fun session of beach flags with the local surf life saving club's nippers.

In the last run, Peter Gallen and Lily McClure duelled for the same flag, Gallen able to launch himself in the air desperately trying to win even after the strenuous beach runs earlier in the day.

McClure beat him to it though, staying low and using her speed to grasp the flag.

Peter Gallen dives for a flag but is beaten by Lily McClure, 9, at Tannum Sands beach for a training session including the Central Queensland Capras and the Nippers.
Peter Gallen dives for a flag but is beaten by Lily McClure, 9, at Tannum Sands beach for a training session including the Central Queensland Capras and the Nippers. Jake Jones

3. Clinton vs Meteors soccer

Photographer - Mike Richards

Date - Saturday, September 13

Subjects - Clinton's Imogen McDonald and Meteors Naomi Taylor

Where - Meteors Sport Park

What happened? Strong on the ball, Imogen McDonald was looking to sneak past her opponent Naomi Taylor.

Taylor did a good of pressuring the Clinton player, but ultimately contact was made and McDonald went to ground.

The battle was not just between this pair, with Clinton narrowly defeating Meteors 2-1 to progress to the grand final.

It was not a happy scenario for the green team in the decider though, losing to BITS 3-0.

Clinton #3 Imogen McDonald and Meteors #5 Naomi Taylor.
Clinton #3 Imogen McDonald and Meteors #5 Naomi Taylor. Mike Richards

4. Worst conditions for AFL match

Photographer - Luka Kauzlaric

Date - Saturday, August 8

Subjects - BITS player Lachlan Cameron and Gladstone's Terry Mildren

Where - Clinton Oval

What happened? In the worst conditions the Capricornia AFL saw all year, a fierce battle between BITS Saints and Gladstone Mudcrabs broke out.

The wet, muddy oval kept the score low and made every effort a difficult prospect.

While rain pours down, Terry Mildren tries to keep his side in the game while Lachlan Cameron desperately tries to reel him in.

It was the Saints who prevailed, winning 73-23.

Gladstone's Terry Mildren during the Mudcrabs versus BITS game at Clinton Oval, Gladstone.
Gladstone's Terry Mildren during the Mudcrabs versus BITS game at Clinton Oval, Gladstone. Luka Kauzlaric

5. Nippers collide

Photographer - Mike Richards

Date - Sunday, March 9

Subjects - Braith Young and Ty Fitzgerald

Where - Tannum Sands Beach

What happened? It looks like a big impact between the two nippers, but each got up and walked away laughing from this collision.

The two boys were part of a training session where the nippers were practicing flags.

But training means nothing to competitive boys, who treated the session as fierce competition.

Luckily, the next run everyone was back in and neither Braith nor Fitzgerald had to miss out after the brilliant effort.

Braith Young, 8, and Ty Fitzgerald, 8.
Braith Young, 8, and Ty Fitzgerald, 8. Mike Richards

6. Classic catch 

Photographer - Brenda Strong

Date - Wednesday, April 23

Subject - Ruby Strange, 12

Where - Boyne Island Oval

What happened? Shooting a Yaralla Sport Star segment, Ruby was keen to show off all her cricket skills.

So when she was asked to do some diving catches, it was not a problem.

Even when the ball was thrown right on the limit of where she would be able to reel it in, Strange made the extra effort to latch onto the ball and bring it in - all while keeping a smile on her face. Amazing.

Ruby Strange, 12, was a 2014 Yaralla Sport Star after making the Queensland Cricket U12 girls team just five months after beginning the sport.
Ruby Strange, 12, was a 2014 Yaralla Sport Star after making the Queensland Cricket U12 girls team just five months after beginning the sport. Brenda Strong

7. Up and over

Photographer - Andrew Morgan

Date - Saturday, November 22

Subject - Gema Bassett, 5

Where - Athletics Oval at the TAFE

What happened? It was a simple practice session for Gema and her Gladstone Little Athletics friends, all of them out to eclipse personal best efforts.

Exhibiting good technique and a calm mind, Gema easily lifted herself over the height of the bar.

Even as a five-year-old, the little athlete is showing signs high jump may be her discipline for the future.

Gema Bassett, 5, competes in the Under 6 High Jump at Gladstone Little Athletics.
Gema Bassett, 5, competes in the Under 6 High Jump at Gladstone Little Athletics. Andrew Morgan GLA221114ATHL

8. Waterskiier with style

Photographer - Jake Jones

Date - Monday October 20

Subject - Liam Press, 15

Where - Calliope River

What happened? Liam was out practicing for the first barefoot water skiing competition to be held in the region in a decade.

The hours spent on the water have made for a very calm approach to the sport.

Even with one foot on the water, Liam was able to take a hand of the bar and ease a smile onto his face.

A few weeks later Liam, his younger brother Ben and dad Graham hosted some of the best barefoot competitors in the state and country to the river.

Liam Press, 15, is ready to compete in an event at Calliope River for the first time, two years after beginning barefoot waterskiing.
Liam Press, 15, is ready to compete in an event at Calliope River for the first time, two years after beginning barefoot waterskiing. Jake Jones

9. Grand final big hit

Photographer - Mike Richards

Date - Sunday, August 31

Subjects - Casey McGuire and Vince Mellars

Where - Marley Brown Oval

What happened?  Looking to win a second grand final in a row, Casey McGuire and his Valleys Diehards teammates were outgunned from the start by their Brothers rivals.

During the second half, McGuire vented his frustration with this big hit on Brothers forward Vince Mellars.

Much smaller in stature, the Valleys player's technique drove Mellars into the ground to deliver one of the tackles of the grand final.

Mellars had the last laugh though, with his team triumphant 52-22.

Brothers vs Valleys. A Grade 2014 grand final.
Brothers vs Valleys. A Grade 2014 grand final. Mike Richards

10. Catching some air

Photographer - Brenda Strong

Date - Tuesday, May 6

Subject - Natalya Diehm

Where - Boyne Island Skate Park

What happened? Natalya Diehm has a passion that wows onlookers, scares parents and every kid wants to try it.

She is a freestyle BMX rider.

A Queensland champion and bordering on making it to the best in the country while still a teenager, Diehm practices her sport at the Boyne Island Skate Park.

Not holding back with her attempts, the dangerous moves put her a long way in the air.

BMX freestyle rider Natalya Diehm.
BMX freestyle rider Natalya Diehm. Brenda Strong


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