Kununurra Squash Club served up a smashing competition recently when they took on Darwin’s finest with a rubber ball at their inaugural open event. Club member Renee Zuks said it was a tremendous success, “full of entertainment, laughs, friendly rivalry, and sporting competition”. There were 42 entrants from Kununurra and Darwin across two divisions: the Kununurra Open (Division 1) and the Kununurra Club Championship (Division 2). The competition began with 10 players vying for the title of Kununurra Open 2023 Champion at Kununurra Leisure Centre. Spectators got to see the best of Kunners take on some the top racketeers in the Top End including squash coach Jarrod Ashcroft who also had a role in organising the event. Kununurra’s Mitchell Van Heythuysen proved to be a class above, taking the title over runner-up Connor Manzie of Darwin in three games to one in front of a thrilled audience crammed into the viewing room in front of centre court. The Kununurra Open Plate winner was local, Kent McLachlan, winning the plate final in four. Division 2 had a cut-throat format with the first-seeded player pitted against the 32nd, or lowest, ranked competitor. Ms Zuks said it was a bit like the AFL finals of old when the minor premier played eighth on the ladder. “But in this case, the losing competitor got a chance to play again and advance towards a prize – the Kununurra Club Plate,” he said. Ultimately, the Kununurra Club Championship was won by Ben Mcilwaine who defeated Daniel Faricy, in four. The Kununurra Club Plate was won by Rhodes Boyce, also in four against Maria Bolten Magnay. Competition prize sponsors were Kimberleyland Waterfront Holiday Park, Spill the Beans Café, IBAC Plumbing and The Sandalwood Sanctuary. Kimberley Ornamental Stonecraft produced the Kununurra Open Champion medallion. Organisers said they were looking forward to putting on next year’s competition.