The annual Cootamundra Touch Carnival has been and gone for another year with local, regional and interstate talents alike flocking to Nicholson Park and Fisher Park for the long awaited two-day spectacle.
More than 400 people were expected to attend the festival of footy and the predictions came true with a healthy turnout despite the at-times stifling heat.
For the one of the longest-running touch football carnivals in regional NSW, there was still plenty of new faces and exciting new teams in the mix.
Cootamundra Touch Carnival organiser Tisha McTavish said she was pleased with how the 35th installment of the knockout event played out.
“It all played at really well in the end, I think,” McTavish told the Cootamundra Herald on Sunday afternoon.
“We’re really happy with how it all went with that number of teams.
“It was a very busy weekend but we’re all done now, so it’s time to relax.”
With in excess of $5,000 in prize money up for grabs at the carnival, it was always going to be a tooth-and-nail affair for touch footballing supremacy under the warm Cootamundra sun.
The A-grade division looked a particularly competitive field but reigning champions Galaxy – a Sydney-based outfit – again proved their class with a series of stunning performances on their favourite regional stomping ground.
The defending premiers and multiple A-grade champions showed no signs of letting up during a dominant group stage effort on Saturday before putting on the afterburners in Sunday’s finals series.
After breezing through the quarter final and semi final rounds, Galaxy went on to defeat ACT-based side Bad Mean in a hard-fought A-grade grand final, eventually trumping the well-drilled Canberrans to the tune of 4-3 in front of a an appreciative crowd.
The result sees them back up from their 11-5 win over Canberra team Pepperoni in a lop-sided 2018 grand final and solidify their place as one of the most successful sides in tournament history.
There were plenty of local Riverina teams in the mix as well, with a host of Cootamundra players and teams flying the flag for their home town’s showpiece event.
Disappointingly, the weekend’s festivities were somewhat overshadowed by an alleged incident at the Cootamundra Ex-Servicemens club.
Reports on Sunday emerged of a brawl occurring during a scheduled after party on Saturday night.
Around 20 people were suspected to be involved in the incident, which has since received widespread condemnation on social media.