first_imgRain Plays Havoc with State Titles Horrendous weather conditions have marred the 2005 Junior State Cup with organisers having to cancel the event before all finals had been completed and declare joint premiers. After a starting the event bathed in sunshine on Saturday morning, conditions turned nasty and dangerous in the late afternoon. Organisers had kept watch on weather radars all day as fierce winds, hail and lightening strikes headed toward Thomas Dalton Park, Wollongong. Shortly after 3.30pm conditions became the major concern of the NSWTA as distance thunder and lightening approached. With 22 minutes gone in the time slot and with driving rain, gale force winds sweeping the fields and lightning strikes becoming dangerously close the NSWTA called a halt to all games and directed 7500 people on the park to the safety of covered areas. As the rains, lightning and winds picked up power was lost and the NSWTA had no choice but to cancel the rest of the days games as safety became paramount. This action meant an immediate restructure for the following day’s play with some 83 games needing to be slotted into Sunday’s schedule. After working through the evening to reschedule the event, Sunday got underway in overcast conditions and the occasional shower but in the most pleasant conditions fro the players. As organisers kept a watchful eye on the skies it seemed that the day would proceed without hiccup. Then once again the heavens opened as the finals commenced. Torrential rain continued throughout the final series and again player’s safety became an issue, not through lightning but due to the playing surface and hyperthermia in the bitterly cold storm. Again organisers were faced with a dilemma with only half the finals having been completed. At 4.45pm the General Manager of the NSWTA made a decision he described as his `toughest in the job’ when he cancelled the rest of play and declared joint premiers in all divisions where the final had not been played. “It is heart wrenching to make a decision that cost young children the opportunity to win a state championship on the field. However foremost in our minds has to be their safety and to that end it was the contributing factor in our minds” Russell stated. In the end some 12000 people had experienced the event and even with the severe weather interruptions it appears that most if not all went away with a positive take on the weekend. One parent we spoke to said “I am amazed that they nearly got though it all given the weather? The way they handled yesterday’s storm and getting people to safety was marvellous.” Russell however is now looking toward 2006. “We need to review our current format. We may need to make some changes given its size now. All or part of the event will be in Wollongong again, in what format I am not sure yet and we will have to make those decisions very shortly. However given what we faced this year I know the staff will work to make 2006 our best ever” Final Results (3-2 scoring system used. i.e. 3 pts first touchdown and 2pts for each following touchdown) Ayoub Cup (boys 10) Penrith 7 def Wagga 6 Boys 10’s Plate Peakhurst (2) 5 def Hornsby 0 Tirado Cup (girls 10) Manly Warringah 9 def Wollongong 0 Zabielo Cup (boys 12) Wagga & Penrith joint premiers Boys 12’s Plate Blacktown & Wollongong joint plate winners Vassallo Cup (girls 12) Manly & Parkes joint premiers Girls 12’s Plate Kiama & Taree joint plate winners Yiangou Cup (boys 14) Kiama 5 def Penrith 4 Boys 14’s Plate Manly 17 def St Georges Basin 2 Taylor Cup (girls 14) Wollongong 7 def Wagga 2 Girls 14’s Plate Tamworth def Kiama Wall Cup (boys 16) Western Suburbs & Taree joint Premiers Boys 16’s Plate Wagga & Parramatta joint plate winners Toohey Cup (girls 16) Central Coast 13 def Taree 0 Girls 16’s Plate Kiama 6 def Parramatta Galea Cup (boys 18) Western Suburbs & Penrith joint premiers Boy’s 18’s Plate Manly Warringah & Port Macquarie joint plate winners Rose Cup (girls 18) Cronulla & Wollongong joint premiers Girls 18’s Plate Tamworth & Wagga joint plate winners Club Championship 1st Penrith 79pts 2nd Wollongong 57 2nd Manly Warringah 57 3rd Wagga 50last_img