Friday’s opening night of the Tumut Pub 9s has gone off with a bang with one of the largest crowds in recent memory in attendance .
Cars queued up 40 and 50 deep, waiting to get into Twickenham in anticipation for an eight-game program, highlighted by the return of the Adelong Green and Gold.
Tumut Blues Oldboys and Supporters Club secretary Dossie Carr was blown away by the interest in the first night of the competition.
“I was very happy with the way the night turned out,” he said.
“Approximately $1700 was taken at the gate, which is one of our largest nights; it even superseded one of our grand finals.
“It was a great crowd and a great contrast of supporters merchandise was on show across the ground.”
Carr, who admitted to having some reservations before the first ball was kicked off, believes the double-header format was a shinning light.
“We had a lot of doubters, even within the organising committee, but it turned out successful and the teams played with more urgency and it was pretty obvious it led to some exciting football,” he said.
When questioned on why there was so much renewed interest in the Pub 9s, Carr believes it came back to the region needing a night to decompress.
“Honestly, people are starved for a bit of entertainment in country towns and when you consider what Adelong, Tumbarumba and Batlow have been through, it was a bit of relief to get away from everything,” he said.
“The night gave those people a chance to just disengage themselves from what’s been happening over the last five-to-six weeks.”
Another spectacle on the night was the superb condition of the Twickenham Oval, which easily handled eight games, despite the sprinkling of rain towards the end of the second round of matches.
“We really must commend the volunteers; they did a wonderful job to have the ground in such great condition,” he said.
“Kenny Keenan, Anthony Oddy and Keith Shelley have been working very hard to make sure Twickenham was ready.”
Carr also named a few teams that really shone in the opening two rounds.
“Under this nines format, anything can happen but I’m really happy with the Woolpack,” he said.
“They have really supported us and they have a very good young team led by Tommy Jeffery.
“Adelong and Batlow really stood out in their first games but dropped away in their second games, while the Royal came good in the second round.”
Carr is now hoping to see just as many faces in the second night of the Tumut Pub 9s this Friday night.
“Hopefully crowds continue to stay strong and we will see just how successful this season is after the next few weeks,” he said.