Exhausted: Crown’s shaft intruder still in hospital

Paramedics take the rescued intruder to hospital. Photo: Channel 10An intruder rescued from an exhaust shaft deep inside the Crown entertainment complex yesterday is yet to speak to police about his ordeal.
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The 25-year-old was in a stable condition in The Alfred hospital this morning after his bizarre 11-hour ordeal ended when paramedics and firefighters pulled him, covered in grease and fat, from a duct that ventilates the complex’s restaurants.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said South Melbourne detectives had taken over the investigation but were yet to speak to the man. No charges had been laid, she said.

The slippery character had climbed into a duct about 11pm on Wednesday and crawled deep into the building before coming to a sticky stop in, Metropolitan Fire Brigade Commander Wayne Garrard said.

Staff at Automatic restaurant at Crown arrived at work at 10am yesterday to hear noises and cries for help from the duct above their pizza oven, and called emergency services.

A paramedic in disposable overalls with a safety harness and rope attached was sent into the duct to check the man’s condition, before firefighters extracted him, more than 11 hours after he started his strange journey.

‘‘It looked like a cow had just given birth,’’ Commander Garrard said, describing the state of the extracted intruder.

‘‘He was covered in brown grease and fat. I guess because it was so slippery he couldn’t go anywhere.

”He’s a very, very lucky boy, I tell you. Where he ended up he was right on top of the pizza oven. It’s lucky that he regained consciousness and yelled out.’’

Commander Garrard said it appeared the man had illegally gained access to the duct from a stairwell near the roof, and crawled about 30 metres before he got into trouble in his metre-by-half metre prison.

Despite the ordeal, the man claimed he could not remember how he got inside.

‘‘I think he might have been under the influence of something. Whether it was a bit of a prank or something, I’m not sure,’’ Commander Garrard said.

‘‘When he came out he was conscious and breathing. He couldn’t remember how he got in there but he could give us give his name and address and that sort of thing.’’

Thumbs down to OJD rally

BATHURST sheep producers are set to turn their backs on a protest against Ovine Johne’s Disease policy due to be held in Forbes tomorrow., Bathurst Merino Association president Colin Ferguson said last week it was a shame sheep and wool producers in revolt further out west over Ovine Johne’s Disease zoning did not see the light years ago and push strongly for reform then., Mr Ferguson said large numbers of producers in the newly created NSW OJD Management Area are unlikely to become involved with Forbes and Eastern Riverina OJD Action Groups in the rally., “We’ve been there and done that,” Mr Ferguson said of the farmers in the newly constituted Management Area that takes in the Central Tablelands (Bathurst), Goulburn, Braidwood and Yass Rural Lands Protection Board areas., “If we go to Forbes it will only be to sticky beak,” Mr Ferguson said. , “I had something to say when the Management Area was announced., “I said then that the arguing should be over for us and that commonsense has prevailed.”, Mr Ferguson agreed with former BMA president John Seaman, of Perthville, who said he would only be interested in “a sticky beak” at the Forbes rally., Both Mr Seaman and Mr Ferguson spoke as one saying “Forbes and Eastern Riverina farmers would have been mighty handy to us when we were isolated by OJD”., Mr Ferguson believed prolonged drought and OJD zoning implemented in NSW from October 1, 2002, was making people emotional, based on what he had heard and read about the rally planned for Forbes., The organiser of the rally Peter Reilly had come out saying his action group dismisses the NSW Farmers’ Association as irrelevant., Mr Reilly had also said the frustration of dealing with OJD policy and drought will see civil disobedience by producers., Mr Ferguson said those statements raised the question of who would represent farmers if they dropped NSW Farmers’ and rejected the authority of NSW Agriculture and Rural Lands Protection Boards., The market discrimination that once drove Bathurst, Goulburn, Braidwood, Yass and Boorowa farmers to rally was suffered for 10 years by the farmers in the OJD Residual Zone who now form the Management Area, Mr Ferguson said., Mr Reilly has mailed 40,000 posters to farmers around NSW encouraging them to revolt over OJD at Forbes Midstate Saleyards from 11.30am tomorrow., One of the spokesmen for Eastern Riverina, Neville Bahr, said at least six busloads of protesters will be going to Forbes to support the call for deregulation of OJD in NSW, payment of compensation for producers with OJD and unlimited use of the vaccine Gudair., Mr Ferguson said he did not think the rally would change the mind of NSW Government which was locked into a National Ovine Johne’s Disease Control and Evaluation Program that included the zoning of NSW into Residual, Control and Protected Zones., “Thought has to be given as to what happens after the drought breaks,” Mr Ferguson said., “Sheep will go everywhere. It will be a tough time for authorities keeping track of sheep movements.”
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Words to the wise: Souths set sights on Dogs

”Throughout their years of dominance over us they have shown no contrition, no mercy; indeed they have seemed to thrive on brutality, almost as if they are forever taking revenge on us for Bobby McCarthy and the 1967 grand final. Well they have had enough revenge for McCarthy, enough revenge for a lifetime. It is time we took some revenge of our own for the way in which they have treated us on the field for the last 25 years.”This is the excerpt from Russell Crowe’s Book of Feuds that South Sydney captain Roy Asotasi insists will ensure he and his team-mates are fired up for tonight’s match against Canterbury at ANZ Stadium.A Bulldogs premiership winning player, Asotasi admitted to knowing little about the Rabbitohs’ proud history before Crowe convinced him and fellow Kiwi stars David Kidwell and Nigel Vagana to join the club in 2007. Now he can’t see himself playing anywhere else.”I guess the biggest thing about Russell is that he is pretty passionate about this club and he brought in the Book of Feuds in 2007, and that is how all of us as players found out about the history of South Sydney and the rivalries with other clubs,” Asotasi said.”Every time we played a certain club we would read the history between both clubs and I guess that is where I first started to get in touch with the South Sydney history. It is quite exciting. We all got a book each and we all read it, and just checked it out before games.”Asotasi said the players don’t read the book, commissioned by Crowe and written by Mark Courtney, before each game any more but they did use the chapter on the Bulldogs as motivation before their 38-16 win in round four.”They always think they have the edge over South Sydney and we use that as motivation,” he said. ”We used that in the game we played against Canterbury earlier in the season. I read it [the book] before that game and every now and then I get it out and have a bit of a read, just for motivation depending on who we are playing.”Before Crowe lured him to Souths, Asotasi – considered the best prop in the game at the time – was intent on joining English Super League giants St Helens because he didn’t want to play against the Bulldogs.His decision to move to the Rabbitohs no doubt brought even greater satisfaction to the Rabbitohs co-owner because Asotasi spurned an offer from Souths’ greatest rivals, the Roosters, to do so.”You had all of your critics who were saying I’d never play finals football again and all that sort of stuff but I was excited about coming here because I knew that South Sydney had potential,” Asotasi said. ”It was between the Roosters and South Sydney and I decided to go with Souths for the reason that they had potential.”It has taken four seasons, but Asotasi believes the club’s potential is now close to being realised after a carefully planned recruitment program that has seen Souths strengthen their team each year – as Crowe and co-owner Peter Holmes a Court promised when he, Kidwell and Vagana signed.”It was like what they are doing with Israel Folau in AFL. They are hoping that by recruiting someone like him, others will follow and that is the same idea that Russell and Peter had,” Asotasi explained.”Fast forward four years and look where we are now. We’ve been able to get Sam Burgess and Dave Taylor, who are two of the top forwards in the game.”I guess just seeing the side that we had, I guess they were keen to be a part of it and that they were genuine players who wanted to go for the premiership.”Initially reluctant to take on the captaincy when former Souths coach Jason Taylor first approached him about the role, Asotasi now considers it an honour and says he tries to lead with actions rather than words.”This club is one of the foundation clubs and has won 20 premierships so it is an honour for myself to captain such an historic club and I am just hoping that in my time as captain we can get a premiership,” he said. ”That is the biggest thing us as players are looking forward to and South Sydney had its glory days in the 1960s and 1970s and we are hoping that we can bring that back now with the team we have got and create our own history.”
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Morgan ton puts England on top

Eoin Morgan’s maiden Test hundred was key to England’s revival against Pakistan as they made four for 331 by stumps on the first day of their series opener at Trent Bridge on Thursday.Former Ireland left-hander Morgan was 125 not out, having never even made a fifty in his previous two innings at this level, both against Bangladesh earlier in the English season.Together with Paul Collingwood (81 not out), he shared an England record fifth wicket stand against Pakistan of 213 unbroken, surpassing the 192 put on by Trevor Bailey and Denis Compton at Trent Bridge back in 1954.Middlesex middle-order batsman Morgan reached his hundred in style with a straight driven six against off-spinner Shoaib Malik as he completed a 151-ball century, also featuring 16 fours, in just over three hours at the crease.However, Morgan had modern technology to thank for avoiding being dismissed on five and then 78 on the first day of a four-Test series.The 23-year-old was in single figures when wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal appealed for a catch off left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Aamer.But even before the third umpire ruled in Morgan’s favour, boos rang around Trent Bridge as replays on the giant screen showed the ball had bounced into the keeper’s gloves.Morgan was in sight of a century when the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS), being used in England for the first time, came to his rescue.He got an lbw decision given by Sri Lanka’s Asoka de Silva off the bowling of leg-spinner Danish Kaneria overturned after replays showed the ball sliding past leg stump.England were four for 118, shortly after lunch, when Morgan came in.They’d lost two wickets for two runs in five balls – including star batsman Kevin Pietersen who was out for just nine in his first match since suffering a thigh injury against Australia in a one-day international at Lord’s on July 3.England fought back although Collingwood should have been out for 48 when Kamran Akmal, who had a poor first day, missed a routine stumping chance off leg-spinner Kaneria.Collingwood went on to complete a 114-ball fifty with six fours.Pakistan wasted both their two permitted unsuccessful DRS challenges on appeals in successive Mohammad Asif overs for lbw and caught behind against Pietersen. But Asif then bowled Pietersen off the inside edge.England’s other South Africa-born batsman, Jonathan Trott, had added just three to his lunchtime score of 35 when he padded up to an inswinger from Aamer.But, having succeeded with an earlier referral, Trott saw replays confirm New Zealand umpire Tony Hill’s lbw verdict.England’s fifth-wicket pair cashed in against Pakistan’s slow bowlers and Morgan made it six boundaries in 12 deliveries with a trademark reverse sweep off Kaneria.Before lunch the 18-year-old Aamer, who took seven wickets in Pakistan’s dramatic three-wicket second Test win over Australia at Headingley last week, had Alastair Cook caught at first slip and saw Strauss, who had been dropped by Kamran Akmal on 15, caught behind for 45.Trott then became the first batsman to use DRS in England when, on 13, he was given out, lbw to Kaneria, by de Silva only for replays to show he’d got an inside edge.Pakistan players wore black armbands in memory of the 152 people killed after an airplane crashed near the capital city of Islamabad on Wednesday.AFP
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Tendulkar bags double-ton

Star batsman Sachin Tendulkar hit 203 and debutant Suresh Raina made 120 as India bettered Sri Lanka’s run-spree in the high-scoring second cricket Test on Thursday.India, kept on the field for the first two days during Sri Lanka’s massive 4-642 declared, responded by piling up 9-669 by stumps on the fourth day at the Sinhalese Sports Club.With just 13 wickets having fallen on the placid wicket in four days, the batsman-dominated Test is heading for a draw with Sri Lanka enjoying a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.Tendulkar and Raina, who came together on the third afternoon with India on 4-241 and struggling to avoid their second successive follow-on, put on 256 runs for the fifth wicket.Tendulkar compiled his fifth double-century, adding another feather to a glorious 168-Test career marked by more runs (13,742) and hundreds (48) than any other batsman in history.The 37-year-old braved the stifling hot and humid weather in the Sri Lankan capital for more than eight hours to play a marathon innings studded with 23 boundaries and a six.Tendulkar reached the 200-mark, his first in six years, with a flick off Ajantha Mendis for two runs, earning warm applause from team-mates and spectators alike.Left-hander Raina became the ninth Indian to score a century in his first Test innings, before holing out to short mid-wicket off Mendis shortly after lunch.Raina, just 23 and already a veteran of 98 one-day internationals, was awarded his Test cap only after Yuvraj Singh reported sick on the opening day of the match.He hit two sixes and 12 boundaries, reaching his century with a fluent off-drive against seamer Dammika Prasad that raced to the fence.Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (76) joined in the run feast after Raina’s departure, adding 95 for the sixth wicket with Tendulkar and 51 for the eighth with Abhimanyu Mithun (41).It was left to part-time spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan to get rid of Tendulkar soon after tea as wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene held a bat-pad catch moving swiftly to the silly point area.Dilshan also dismissed Harbhajan Singh in the same over and later took a return catch off Dhoni to finish with three wickets.Sri Lanka missed the wicket-taking abilities of the retired Muttiah Muralitharan and injured fast bowler Lasith Malinga as the young crop of bowlers failed to contain the Indians.Mendis finished with 4-157 from his 54 overs, while off-spinner Suraj Randiv failed to add to his two wickets on the third day and returned with 2-212 in 64 overs.AFP
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