Thursday, February 23, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The Whitsunday Sportspark’s ‘Festival of Football’ was a decisive success for the local venue, which hosted three games of high-tier football last Saturday in front of crowds of over 1500.
Three games, the first between the Mackay Cutters Women and the North Queensland Cowboys Academy Squad followed by the Mackay Cutters Colts against the Whitsunday Brahmans, and finally the North Queensland Cowboys Young Guns facing the Cutters A-Grade, clashed on the field with Cutters taking the glory in a clean-sweep, three games to none.
The Cutters women walloped the Cowboys women 44 to 8 in the least close fixture of the day before the Colts won against the Brahmans 16-4.
In the main event, the Cowboys Young Guns put up a fight before being felled by Cutters 24-16 – a game that was extremely tight at times with some free-flowing, exceptional footy.
Whitsunday Sportspark spokesperson Justin Butler said it was an incredibly successful day for both the Cutters on the field and for the Whitsunday Sportspark volunteers off it.
“The last big game of similar vein held here back in 2013 hosted a crowd of roughly 800 people, and we were expecting around 1000 – we smashed those numbers with an estimated 1500,” Mr Butler said.
“And the footy was good – it was in perfect conditions, not too hot, a little overcast. You could tell there was a huge appetite for it and the feedback from the Cutters was, how big can we make events here? How many more people can we get in?
“It's paved the way for the Sportspark to host significant events in the future. That’s a significant event for any sport, not just league. We might end up with a Brisbane Roar for soccer or whatever it may be.”
The event was made possible by an enormous roundup of volunteers from across the Sportsparks five codes.
The Mackay Cutters and North Queensland Cowboys Young Guns collided in a massive ‘Festival of Football’ at Whitsunday Sportspark on Saturday, February 18
The Sportspark saw crowds of roughly 1500 people turn up for the high-quality rugby league, the likes of which haven't been seen for a decade in Airlie Beach
The Cutters claimed the win across each of the three games
The tightest affair was between the North Queensland Cowboys Young Guns and the Mackay Cutters, which ended 24-16
Matt Strecker Photography