Meerkats prevail in tournament final


The Mount Arthur Meerkats made history on Saturday.

After a three-year absence the A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Day made its return to Pirtek Park and 11 teams played off for a spot in the tournament final.

The Bengalla Badgers finished as a finalist for the third straight tournament however would be unable to match the Mt Arthur Meerkats who prevailed 22-14 in the decider.

The Mount Arthur Meerkats became the sixth team to take out a A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Day title on Saturday. The Meerkats celebrated a 22-14 final win.

MEANWHILE the Hunter Hawkettes won the Coxons Women in Mining Series 2-1 over the Valley Vixens.

“I’d like to acknowledge all the players in the team for their efforts and spectators coming along to support the event,” Mt Arthur’s Luke Gardner said after the final.

“We would also like to acknowledge the efforts by the volunteers.”

It made for an interesting lead up after the late withdrawal by Saddlers Creek Sharks and Mangoola Grizzlies.

However tournament organiser Danny Eather remained calm from start to finish after the tournament’s three year hiatus due to covid-lockdowns and floods.

“Crowd numbers were strong with Pirtek Park filling with plenty of spectators cheering on their family, friends and colleagues,” Eather told The Hunter River Times.

The Hunter Hawkettes won their series 2-1 on Saturday in one of the most entertaining women’s series in recent memory.

“It was great to see after a covid induced break.

“Once again huge thank you to the entire community for their support and all of our sponsors, A-Plus Contracting & Poly Welding, Australiasian Mining Service, Coxons, Tyre Doctor, Mine Super, Pirtek,  Slater & Gordon, Jennings Print, Mader New South Wales, NSW Mining, Yancoal, Hunter Valley Operations, All-Pro, Bower’s Heavy Haulage, Oiltest, Coal Services – Mines Rescue, Walton Mine Services, Kennards, Invent Air, At The Coalface and host venue Singleton United Rugby League Club.”

A welcome to country was delivered before the tournament’s opening match by Uncle Warren Taggart.

Early estimations are that approximately $90k raised for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

A final fundraising tally will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

MEANWHILE the Pirtek Park news continued on Sunday evening when Mark Newman was announced as the Singleton Greyhounds’ sole first grade coach for season 2023. Third year Greyhound John Douglass has been appointed as reserve grade coach, 2019 premiership coach Daniel Higgins returns as under-18 mentor and Maddy Sonter has been named as LLT captain/coach with assistant Matt Kenny.

A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Day winners
2014Anvill Hill Bulls
2015Austar Swamp Rats
2016Ravensworth Rhino’s
2017Ravensworth Rhino’s
2018Bengalla Badgers
2019Wambo Wolves
2020-21***No tournament
2022Mt Arthur Meerkats