THE future of Central West’s league tag ranks were on display on Sunday as more than 300 players made their way to Bathurst.
Players were battling it out at both the Sportsground and Morse Park across under 12s, 14s and 16s for the right to be called Bathurst League Tag Carnival champions.
St Pat’s Junior Rugby League president Leanne Ashcroft said it was a great day out for all players.
“Panthers and Pat’s ran it in conjunction, which makes it more of a Bathurst carnival as opposed to a club one,” she said.
“We had over 20 teams involved. Everything ran smoothly and the girls looked great out there.”
Ashcroft said Sunday’s action is a great sign for the growth of the sport in the Central West.
“The game is growing very fast. For example Cowra had two teams in under 16s and Bloomfield had two in under 12s,” she said.
“This current format is great for the girls, where they play once a month around the region on a Sunday. It allows them to still play their Saturday sports as well.”
It wasn’t the best of days for the hosts Bathurst Panthers and St Pat’s as the visiting clubs progressed through to the finals.
In under 16s it was an all-Orange affair as CYMS battled Bloomfield for the honours.
The back-and-forth contest was an appropriate way for the senior age group to conclude, as plenty of action found its way into just 20 minutes.
CYMS got on the board first after three minutes but an error gave Bloomfield the opportunity to hit right back.
The Tigers were stopped just shy of the line but after two repeat sets they moved out to the right wing and levelled the scores at 4-all.
With five minutes to go Bloomfield took the lead for the first time through another try.
CYMS were not finished yet. The girls in green came close to scoring but, although they came up short, a tag in-goal forced Bloomfield to kick the ball back to their opponents.
This time CYMS found the try under the posts through Courtney Morgan-Jones, who faced a nervous post-siren conversion attempt to win the match.
Morgan-Jones made no mistake.
“The girls had a set structure and they managed to stick to it all day. They trained really well through the week,” CYMS assistant coach George Connaughton said.
“When they missed their kick at goal down there we said that we’ve got to score a converted try, and it’s got to be close [to the uprights].
“Courtney was a little bit nervous about the kick but it was after the siren was we told her to take all the time that she needed.”