Calgary Touch Association,

Second Annual Tournament.
September 2nd, 2001 (Geoff Jenkins)

The green swards of the manicured fields of the Calgary Rugby Park shimmered in the clear, early-morning, high altitude light against a majestic backdrop of the sun-dappled Rocky Mountains. With temperatures climbing to 27 C by mid-afternoon, Calgary Touch Association welcomed 11 teams to play in the 2nd Annual Calgary Tournament for the magnificent Beresford Cup.

The cup is named after Colin Beresford, a founding member of the club and a stalwart supporter. Colin returned from a field assignment in Peru, specifically for the tournament, and was stunned to find out when asked to award the cup, that his devious colleagues had bought a trophy and named it after him. Eleven teams entered (twice as many as last year) and arrived from near and far including Dallas, Texas and Toronto, Ontario who each traveled more than 2000 km.

Teams were organized into two pools and played a series of roundrobin games within their pool before embarking on the knock-out stages. Calgary Touch Association fielded five teams, and additional teams were entered from Calgary 15 a-side clubs. CTA teams included Downunders "A" and "B", Hazco Blues, Warthogs and the Mighty Sphincters.


The Mighty Sphincters warm up prior to playing.

The tournament was organized and executed with military precision by a committee that included Bryan (Cowboy) Leach (Chairman, second from left above). Geoff (S.A.S.) Jenkins (President CTA), Paul (Fagetabatit) Fanelli (Club Captain) Peter (Mr. Action) Sroba (Competition Organizer) and Eric (Easy) Willis (Media/Communications, also third from right above). A key factor in the successful organization was the presence of an Administration Team, which was lead by Sandy Sroba, and included Lynn Fanelli, Roxanne Coogan, Elizabeth Leach and Mary Lynn Richardson. The Admin. Team recorded scores, ensured that all games started and finished simultaneously, and that everything ran smoothly, also a big thanks to all the crew,(CTA) that dogged their hearts out getting out on a Sunday morning in Calgary.

Significant roles were also played by Dan Kazakoff and Jim Loewen (Calgary Rugby Union) who provided the facilities, marked the fields and provided plenty of beer and a steak BBQ. David Phillips and John Davies (Calgary Referees Association) took up the challenge of reffing Touch, and after refereeing several games, refereed the final.

After the competitive and good natured play during the roundrobin, in each Pool, Downunders A and Calgary Irish topped Pool 1, and Anzacs and Toronto topped Pool 2. The Semi-Final consisted of reverse- crossovers, with Downunders "A" playing Anzacs and Calgary Irish playing Toronto in two highly competitive games. By 4 p.m. the grounds were abuzz with anticipation as a full team of 12 Anzacs (consisting primarily of Aussies and Kiwis who have been playing 15 a-side for the summer) swarmed onto the pitch, and the talent-laden but short-handed team from Toronto came out to meet them. In a highly skilled game played at ferocious pace Anzacs and Toronto were eqully adept showing crisp play, however the game was to be won in the flats, with speed, speed, speed as a warn Toronto side finally succumed and Anzac won. Anzav claim the Beresford Cup.


Winning Anzak members pose with Beresford cup Large version

Toronto arrived in Calgary with 8 players, and lost Andrew Clark with a broken arm halfway through game 2, so they played the remaining 5.5 games of the tournament with only one substitute. Toronto didn't return home empty handed. In addition to Male MVP: Ivan Williams (Toronto), for his scintillating speed and sleight of hand, Andrew Clark received the highly coveted Warthogs "Stinker of the Day Award" - an engraved wooden spoon. Dan Morrison (Downunders "A") was runner-up, when he raced across the try line, and in a mystifying display of irrational exuberance, rifled the ball into the grandstand before touching down! Erin Colborne (Calgary Warthogs) earned the Female MVP Award for an excellent display of aggressive running and good handling skills. Erin was not present to accept the MVP award so two guest players from the Sphincters used their best show biz skills and Bob "Dolly Parton" Patterson accepted the award from Colin "Elvis" Hill on behalf of Erin.

A great day was had by all. (Players, partners, children and dogs). New friendships were made and old ones renewed. As the summer draws to a close and another long, cold Canadian winter looms ahead, we are preparing to go indoors and play Cage Touch. Our VP-Commercial Operations has suggested contacting Vince McMahon (World Wrestling Federation) for sponsorships.

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