WDL Round 1 Punmu Festival
Ngurra Kujungka’s Western Desert League Round 1 was held in Punmu last week 6 – 9th April. In two very even competitions Kiwirrkurra reigned champions in both the AFL and Softball.
Six teams took part in the football competition where every side played each other once throughout the first three days with the top four progressing to the finals on the final day. Kiwirrkurra finished on top just dropping one game along the way ahead of Warralong, Punmu and the Jigalong Eagles with the Jigalong Suns and Parnngurr just missing out. In the second semi final, Kiwirrkurra defeated Warralong to advance straight to the grand final and in the knockout first semi final, hosts Punmu won a nail – biter over the Jigalong Eagles. This then left Warralong to play Punmu in the Preliminary Final with Warralong coming out on top to advance to the grand final for a re match with Kiwirrkurra.
After a very tight first half with only a goal separating the two teams, Kiwirrkurra got on top early in the second half and kicked clear to win comfortably 7.6.48 to 3.2.20.
Congratulations to Kiwirrkurra captain – Cedric Bennett who was voted player of the carnival.
Seven teams took part in the softball and like the football this too was a tightly fought competition. Punmu finished on top undefeated ahead of defending champions Kiwirrkurra followed by Parnpajinya and Parnngurr making up the top four, just outside was Jigalong, Nullagine and Warralong. In the second semi final and with the right to move straight into the grand final, Kiwirkurra flexed their muscles and inflicted the first loss to Punmu of the carnival winning 12 – 6. In the knockout final the ever improving Parnpajinya from just outside of Newman took on Parnngurr with the girls from Cotton Creek winning 18 runs to 12. For the right to advance to the grand final, Parnngurr were full of confidence in taking on Punmu and they prevailed causing a massive upset to send the hosts out in straight sets 18 – 13 to advance to the grand final.
To win the carnival from 4th position would have been huge and leading 11 runs to 5 going into the last innings this great feat look to be highly achievable for Parnngurr, but the finals hardened Kiwirrkurra utilised their experience and scored six runs in the final innings to come over the top of them to win a nail biting and extremely exciting grand final.
Congratulations to Parnngurr’s Jimesha Williams who was voted player of the carnival.
There were many highlights to come out of round one – the eveness of the two competitions, new participation in the football with a dozen players from Kunawaritji assisting with the team from Parnngurr, the development of the softball competition with increased attendance watching and the players replicating the football by officiating their own games and the increase participation of the Kids Sport program with between thirty to forty kids taking part in activity each day.