After four years of waiting Penong finally got the chance to host its first Far West Football League grand final, and the community embraced finals fever.
Since the decision in 2013 to rotate the hosting duties for finals matches every club has had the chance to host the grand final, except for Western Districts.
A crowd of about 2000 people attended the grand final day, which included more than 1200 paying patrons.
There was a lot of excitement as black and gold was seen in many places in town.
Western United president Rohan Scott said this was something that the sports club and the Penong community had been waiting a long time for.
“The last week or so has been busy I guess, with people preparing food and getting the club ready with some new shades,” he said.
“It’s something we’ve been looking forward to and, as we’ve said we’re a proud club and a proud community as well and we want to showcase the club and the town to the rest of the community.”
Mr Scott said Penong was a tight knit community so locals and those involved in the club from Ceduna were willing to help out.
The day provided good conditions for football at Penong with the sun shining and a strong breeze blowing the town’s famous windmills which added to the backdrop of the day.
Western United had plenty to be excited about going into the day’s finals matches with the home team featuring in three of the four football grand finals and five of the six netball grand finals.
Those who arrived early were able to secure a parking spot and by the time of the reserves grand final there was no more parks available inside the grounds.
Co-owner of the Comet Cafe Phil “Shirl” Laws said everyone in the community was really excited and the town was busier than it normally was, even during Penong Cup day.
“There’s excitement all round for those involved with the football and netball clubs,” he said.
Even though there were about 109 fewer paying patrons compared to last year’s grand final, the Far West Football League was overall very happy with this year’s grand final day and with the crowd in attendance.
League president Ron Redford said the day was a “resounding success” with great weather, a well-behaved crowd and great football on display.
Mr Redford said the day also proved a grand final in Penong would be supported by the football community.
“From the league’s point of view it supported our much criticised decision to rotate the grand final venues which was instituted in 2014, the naysayers said a grand final at Penong would not be supported, we had to wait four years to prove them wrong,” he said.
“The crowd was only 109 patrons down on last year’s grand final played at Ceduna Oval, once again it demonstrates that country people will travel to watch good football.”
For the hometown supporters there was a lot to smile about with netball as all Western United teams won their respective grand final matches.
It wasn’t such a happy ending for the football, with all three teams defeated.
However, all gave their all in great, competitive matches.