The annual mecca to the Yass Valley Knockout over the Australia Day Long weekend was another huge success, with a great turnout by the touch community.
This year marked the tournament’s 25th installment, and 98 teams made the trip to Walker Park to compete. In 2013, teams came from as south as Melbourne, as north as Newcastle and from as West as Adelaide. It made this year’s tournament one of the most nationally recognized, non-representative events.
After a big Friday for many campers and players, a few were nursing sore heads on Saturday. But they all pushed through the pain, took to the fields and put on a show for the people who came to watch the event. Once again, the quality of touch on show was great. Unfortunately, on Saturday afternoon, the rain played its part, which caused tents to be flooded and people to look for other forms of accommodation.
After a small exodus of players on Saturday night, Sunday saw the start of the knockout games and the big names of the event really came to the fore to push their claims for the title and the prize money.
Players like New Zealand Internationals Dean Williams and Cain Rangi, and former Australian International Daniel Rushworth, all showed off their skills. The event also had international touch legends Tony Eltakchi from Australia and Peter Walters from New Zealand participating.
At the end of the tournament over $16,500 was given out in prize money over the eight divisions. Eight new divisional champions were named and I am sure all will come back again next year to attempt to defend their titles.
Special thanks must go out to the Yass Touch Association, all the referees who attended the event, the canteen ladies, the men on the barbecue and the council for having the grounds in such good condition. Also a big thanks must go out to all the local businesses that sponsor the event each year, without their help the event wouldn’t run and be as successful.
A couple of players and captains had accolades for the tournament.
Melissa Varyo from Play On said the tournament was fantastic.
“This is one of our favourite carnivals,” she said.
“This year we bought along a few new players and they have never had so much fun. They are definitely regulars now. Once again thank-you and NSW touch we will see you all next year.”
Krystal Hartley from the Albion Park Eagles was also happy with the tournament.
“I just want to thank everyone from the association for another great weekend of touch footy. The Yass Knockout is always an enjoyable one and we are looking forward to next year!”
Noel Donohoe from Ol 55s Taren Point simply said “you guys run a good show.”
Rick Davis from the Dubbo Devils also had a big weekend and said, without a doubt, his side will be back in 2014.