Matters of State | Wellington Cowboys rise to the occasion in Group 11 grand final

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders with Wellington Cowboys coach Justin Toomey-White. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders with Wellington Cowboys coach Justin Toomey-White. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

It's rare that you can go to a day at the footy and walk away saying that everyone was a winner, but that was the case on Sunday at the Group 11 grand finals, which were played at Apex Oval.

The Wellington Cowboys ended a 25-year first grade drought with a 19-10 win over Dubbo CYMS, backing up their 14-6 win over the Fishies in the reserve-grade decider earlier in the day. You could tell from being in the crowd and watching the reaction of the fans afterwards that this meant a lot to the Cowboys, and a special congratulations must go to Justin Toomey-White who has cast aside his own health issues to help the club reach its full potential.

CYMS tasted success in the league tag grand final, beating Forbes 24-4 as Nic Grose's side capped an unbeaten season in fine fashion, while the Magpies reversed the result in the under-18s with a thrilling 24-22 win over CYMS.

The end result was that all three clubs represented on grand final day tasted success, and while they only walked away with one premiership the effort by Dubbo CYMS to be involved in the final game of the season in all four grades is an amazing achievement.

Walking Towards Hope

On Saturday I was proud to join with a record number of residents to take part in the "Walk Towards Hope". This event is organised by the National Association for Loss and Grieving (NALAG) and involves a walk across the LH Ford Bridge in Dubbo followed by a special remembrance ceremony at Lions Park.

NALAG do some wonderful work in the area of mental health, especially with people who need some assistance in the wake of the loss of a loved one, and Saturday's walk was the 11th and attracted a healthy attendance.

Clontarf Academy opening

Last week I went to Wellington where the town's new Clontarf Academy was officially launched. Clontarf does some wonderful work with young men in our region, and the Wellington academy complements the recently-opened Narromine branch and the long-running version in Dubbo, which is doing a great job with integrating vulnerable youth and pointing them in the right direction.