Commonwealth Games 2014: The battle of the regions

The Australian men's hockey team celebrate with their gold medals after winning the final against India. The Illawarra walked away with two gold medals from the match and one each for Newcastle and regional Western Australia. Photo: Getty Images
The Australian men's hockey team celebrate with their gold medals after winning the final against India. The Illawarra walked away with two gold medals from the match and one each for Newcastle and regional Western Australia. Photo: Getty Images

Day 11: The Illawarra has walked away with gold in a race to see which region could win the most Commonwealth Games medals.

Two gold medals overnight from men's hockey further cemented their position as Australia's top region at the games.

Poor Newcastle. They couldn't quite get to the top, taking home just eight medals compared to the Illawarra's 13.

The steel city added just one medal to their haul, a gold from Simon Orchard. So, they'll just have to settle for silver in our regional race.

It was a competition that the Illawarra was destined to win – they've led the way since the start of our regional race.

Port Macquarie walked away with bronze after taking home five medals, with fourth spot being a tie between the Fleurieu (South Australia) and regional Queensland. 

A gold medal from Caitlin Thwaites (netball) gave Bendigo a competitive edge over the 'Rat' – sorry Ballarat, Bendigo were clearly too good. 

Well, that's a regional wrap. But, the fun and games don't end here.

To end the Commonwealth Games on a funny note, we decided to share this hilarious video of Usain Bolt getting down to The Proclaimers. Enjoy!

Day 10: Our regional athletes picked up three medals overnight, including two gold.

Our golden girls in the Hockeyroos showed once again that they are not to be messed with as they took out gold in a nail biting match against England.

Two Crookwell girls, Emily Smith and Kellie White, were among the team that shot straight to victory.

Crookwell has two gold medalists out of a population of 2000. We like those odds. We are predicting big celebrations in Crookwell this weekend.

The score was tied 1-1 at the end of the match but Australian won in a 3-1 shoot out against England. 

This means that Port Macquarie now ties Newcastle for second place on our leader board for gold medals but Newcastle's overall total still beats Port's, 7-5, respectively.

But they weren't the only regional stars on the team. Edwina Bone from Orange, Casey Eastham from Albion Park, Kate Jenner from Tamworth and Jayde Taylor from Bunbury all played an integral role in the win. And added a gold medal to their region's total. Nice work!

Speaking of girls who can pack a punch, Shelley Watts from Laurieton, NSW won gold in women's light boxing final

She beat (and beat up) Laishram Devi from India to win with scores of 39 unanimously from the judges.

Hobart's Hamish Peacock won bronze in the men's javelin throw and takes Tasmania's total up to three medals.

Will anyone catch Illawarra before the games finish?

Day 9: Welcome to the tally board, Ballarat.

The Victorian town has made its way to the regional medal tally board with a bronze in the Men's Fours Final in lawn bowls

Ballarat's Matt Flapper and Brett Wilkie were a part of the team that beat India 15-14.

Some of our regional athletes competed in the women's semi-final match one in the hockey.

There must be something in the water in Crookwell with Emily Smith scoring one goal and Kellie White scoring two.

The girls contributed to the teams 7-1 win over South Africa.

Queensland's colossus Damon Kelly, the man with the most fearsome beard in the Commonwealth Games Village, overcome a year of injuries to take home bronze in the superheavyweight competition. Photo: Getty Images

Queensland's colossus Damon Kelly, the man with the most fearsome beard in the Commonwealth Games Village, overcome a year of injuries to take home bronze in the superheavyweight competition. Photo: Getty Images

DAY 8: Huzzah! Queensland has joined the regional medal tally.

The 'Sunshine State' had three medals under their belt until last night, when they also added a bronze to their medal haul.

Their colossus Damon Kelly, the man with the most fearsome beard in the Commonwealth Games Village, overcome a year of injuries to take home bronze in the superheavyweight competition

Competition is still rife in New South Wales and Newcastle is no closer to snatching top spot from the Illawarra.

They both added a silver medal to their tallies overnight – one each from Kurt Fearnley and Karen Murphy.

Time is running out for Newcastle to lift their game and show the Illawarra what they've got.

There will be limited opportunities for regional Australia to add to the medal tally overnight, with just a handful of athletes competing in medal events – so the Illawarra should remain in gold-winning position.

If dynamic bowling duo Matt Flapper and Brett Wilkie continue with their stellar performances tonight, Ballarat could be neck and neck with Bendigo come tomorrow.

DAY 7: It was a quiet day for regional Australia at the Commonwealth Games – Illawarra is still leading the way, followed by Newcastle and Port Macquarie. 

C'mon Newcastle, don't throw the towel in yet and give the Illawarra a run for their money. Show them what you've got!

Overnight, we walked away with just one medal – a gold from Kim Mickle, adding regional Western Australia to our tally.

Poor Ballarat just can't catch a break, much to the joy of Bendigo.

Their home-grown talent keeps missing out on medal glory and day seven was no different.

Kathryn Mitchell agonisingly just missed a medal in the javelin throw and finished fourth, while teammates claimed gold and bronze in a competition which went down to the wire for the medals.

But, there's still hope for the 'Rat' yet!

Matt Flapper and Brett Wilkie have progressed to the men's fours quarter finals. Combining with Nathan Rice and Wayne Ruediger, they will play to stay in the medal chase on Thursday at 9.45pm.

DAY 6: The Illawarra is sitting pretty in top spot of the regional medal tally after sensational swimmer Emma McKeon won her fourth gold medal overnight.

That’s right Hunter Valley, the Illawarra is in front! You’re probably cringing just at hearing the name McKeon.

Of the Illawarra’s nine medals, eight have come from sibling swimming act Emma and David.

But, Newcastle, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Emma McKeon competed in her final event, so now's your chance to catch up!

The Missile from Macquarie, James Magnussen, has kept Port Macquarie in bronze position on day six after a spectacular effort at the pool winning one silver medal and one bronze.

It's party mode in South Australia’s Mid North after they made their debut with David Chapman winning his first gold medal in shooting. Did someone say champagne?!

Balaklava Sports Shooting Club treasurer, Nicole Gregory, was bursting at the seams with excitement after Chapman's medal win.

"I couldn't contain my excitement last night. All of our members are proud of him," she said

"It's wonderful for David. He has worked so hard for this."

Nicole was also excited to see the Mid North claim their first medal from the games.

DAY 5: Great sporting rivalry is alive and well in regional Australia as regions battle it out for the most Commonwealth Games medals – all in the name of fun, of course!

We're talking serious competition! Ballarat vs Bendigo, Hunter vs Illawarra, Barossa vs South East...

At the top of the tally, we have Newcastle neck and neck with the Illawarra. 

Wollongong can thank a local duo for their success with a swag of medals from sibling act Emma and David McKeon.

Emma has a whopping three gold medals and two bronze while brother David has one gold medal. 

Between the pair, they have more medals than Singapore, Kenya and Cameroon!

City of Wollongong Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery OAM, was elated with the Illawarra's medal success.

"It's very reflective of the city (Wollongong). It's very sport oriented," he said.

"We like to see Wollongong rise above the rest of the state."

Speaking of their beloved McKeon duo, he said the family was very much part of the Wollongong community.

In regional South Australia, golden Gawler boy Jack Bobridge reigns supreme with two gold medals under his belt defeating the likes of Jess Trengove from the South East (one bronze from athletics) and Annette Edmondson, a former Fleurieu lass (one gold and one silver from cycling).

Our poor friends at the 'Rat' don't have a medal to their name. You can almost hear the taunts from Bendigo!

Thanks to the brilliant efforts of cyclist Glenn O'Shea, Bendigo has two medals, but they're far from leading regional Australia.

Sorry Victorians, but for now it looks like New South Wales is leading the way.