Yabbies to wait another year in search for state success
TOUCH FOOTBALL: The Scott’s Earthworx Yamba Yabbies 16 girls touch football teams have had a stellar 12 months but their search for supremacy has been put on hold.
The Yabbies had booked their place in the NSW Junior State Cup that was set to take place on Saturday but due to torrential rains in Sydney, the tournament was called off.
Yamba coach Kris Thomsen said, despite the disappointment in missing the finale, it has been an outstanding year for the group.
“Since October last year the Yabbies have been preparing and training for the 2020 NSW Junior State Cup one to two times per week and playing together in the Yamba touch football competition in the A grade women’s division,” Thomsen said.
“Their outstanding team play and strong defence set the platform for the Yabbies girls to play some great touch football and compete with the states best.”
The Yabbies opened their season in Forster and found their feet to take a podium finish.
“Through their representative season the girls contested the Northern Eagles Junior Championships where they placed third overall. The Yabbies eventually lost in the semi-final against Port Macquarie Makos,” Thomsen said
“They then played a tournament in Ballina, getting wins against highly fancied opponents such as Bilambil.”
But Thomsen said the Yabbies saved their best performance for last in tricky conditions at the NSW Junior State Cup in Port Macquarie.
“The last of their tournament fixtures was the most rewarding. The girls played outstanding footy to start the tournament with a shock win against Peninsula Piranhas 2-0 and record their first ever tournament win in four years,” he said.
“Conditions were described as ‘the worst tournament hosts had ever seen’ but Yamba went onto record draws against Carlingford Cyclones and Taree Flames (eventual winners of the NEJC) in what has been the most successful Junior State Cup in the clubs history.”
Thomsen said the success has been a team effort as the girls share the load across the ground.
“Middles, Carissa Miltadou, Jade Moffitt, Kalani Henwood, Sienna Gilbert, Zhanae Whalley and Tia Hollis were relentless in their efforts and were supported by Mia Phelps, Alani Berry, Kaneisha Elisaia-Thomas, Jorja Mainey, Yasmin Elabassi,” he said.
“Wingers, Halle Roberts, Sasha Thomsen were strong and the speed of national level sprinter Annika Swift was a real highlight of the tournaments, regularly making touches in cover defence and streaking away for tries in attack.”
Thomsen was also thankful for the work of Tim and Nikki Ryan for their refereeing throughout the tournaments.
The season isn't over for everyone though, with a number of stars earning Northern Eagles representative selection.
“The season reaped further representative honours with Kalani Henwood, Jade Moffitt and Sienna Gilbert being selected in the Northern Eagles 16’s girls squad. I will be taking on the coaching duties with mercurial manager Wendi Moffitt in the manger role,” Thomsen said.
Thomsen will also be participating in the 2020 National Touch League contested in Coffs Harbour this weekend as a member of the men’s 40s team.