Maryborough Gift and Burrumbeet Cup to launch a big start to the new year

NEW Year’s Eve is here but there will be no late nights for athletes competing at tomorrow’s Maryborough Highland Gathering.

Ballarat athletes rounded out the professional running circuit in style yesterday and will be hoping to launch 2014 in the same way.

Highly promising youngster Sam Baird took out the national professional 400m title in Devonport last night.

While at the Ararat Gift meet yesterday, Narelle Lehmann won the women's/veterans' 300m, Nicholas Milton took out the 400m final and Jordon Keast the under-20 120m final.

The Maryborough Gift is part of a big start to the new year for sport in the Balllarat district.

The popular Burrumbeet Cup race meeting will also feature tomorrow with a seven program from 1.10pm.

Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club also has a 12-race program tomorrow night, with the first event at 6.55pm.

ALSO COMING UP

VICTORIAN Inter-regional Tennis Championships begin at Creswick on Friday and run for three days.

BALLARAT harness races on Thursday night, with eight events and the first at 6.68pm.

DAYLESFORD Gift at Cricket Willow on Saturday.

CENTRAL Highlands under-13 and under-15 country week cricket begins on Monday.

 CYCLING Australia National Road Championships begin in Ballarat next Wednesday (January 8)

BIG BASH TWENTY20

TEST fast bowler James Pattinson picked up three wickets in on his return from a back injury to help Melbourne Renegades to their first win in the Big Bash twenty20 competition last night.

The Renegades reached 3-210 and then dismissed Brisbane heat for 153 at Etihad Stadium in front of 20,000 fans.

Melbourne skipper Aaron Finch top scored with 81, while Englishman Jos Butler made 61.

The Renegades, which had a three-day community camp in Ballarat last month, are returning to the city on Monday, January 13 to lead a junior clinic.

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