THE Austar Swamp Rats secured the A-Plus Contracting Hunter Valley Mining Charity Rugby League Knockout after accounting for the Ravensworth Rhinos in Saturday’s grand final at Singleton’s Pirtek Park.
Led by former NRL star Terence Seuseu, and player of the match Luke Mercer, the Swamp Rats claimed a thrilling decider 10-4.
Earlier in proceedings, the Austar squad eliminated the Glendell Gladiators 24-0, HV United Cobras 12-10 and MTW Eels 20-4.
The Rhinos booked their berth in the finale following victories over Ashton Wombats 10-8, HV Mining All Stars 14-4 and Drayton Giants 34-0.
The tournament, which pitted local mine employees against each other to vie for the prestigious Charity Shield, also doubled as a fundraiser for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service – Singleton Support Group.
Event manager Danny Eather admitted he was delighted with the day.
“I’m over the moon,” he said.
“There was a great community atmosphere.
“We not only had an entertaining final, but people hung around to watch the decider.
“I was thrilled by the size of the crowd.
“Overall, everything exceeded our expectations.
“It will definitely be on again next year.”
Eather said the charity knockout easily served its purpose.
“Our two goals were to raise funds for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, which we did, and to make it family-friendly,” he told The Argus.
“And, I believe it was a good community event.
“We had a lot of free children’s activities including jumping castles, slides, face painting and a craft stall.
“I’d just like to thank all the players, sponsors, spectators and helpers who made the day such as success.”