The Dingo Cup and the Pup Cup kicked off the remote carnivals for 2018 with teams descending on the remote community of Timber Creek to play some Twenty20 cricket in the picturesque region. Timber Creek is a small town on the banks of the Victoria River in the Northern Territory and is the largest settlement between the Western Australian border and the town of Katherine to the east. Local school children played in the Pup Cup, which ran alongside the Dingo Cup this year. Girls and boys as young as seven years old took part and enjoyed getting into the game and the carnival atmosphere. The Dingo Cup carnival is a long standing fixture and has been running for over 20 years, attracting teams from Katherine and eastwards, including Kununurra in northern WA. In 2018, teams came from across the region including local sides the Timber Creek Dingoes and the Timber Creek Bush Turkeys, the Katherine Crocs, team "No More" and teams from the Daly River community. In the final, the Katherine Crocs were victorious over the Timber Creek Dingoes to take out the Dingo Cup in a match played in great spirit.
The Barra Cup is the carnival that rocks Borroloola, a small community situated in the NT gulf region, over 700kms east of Katherine and just 50kms from the Gulf of Carpentaria. The carnival is run in conjunction with the Roper Gulf Regional Council and sees local teams do battle in the Super 8s cricket format, as well as take part in school clinics at Borroloola Primary School to assist young boys and girls to get into cricket. In 2018, four teams competed for the Barra Cup which included a school community team. The mighty Manangoora Magpies claimed the victory again this year, going back to back on with their success in 2017.
The Nitmiluk Cup and TJ Tilley Shield was played in Katherine over a scorching weekend at the Kalano Community and the South Katherine Primary School grounds. Ten teams took part this year in two divisions, playing for the Cup and the Shield. Teams came from afar to play together with the Wurli Warriors, Timber Creek Dingoes, Timber Creek Bush Turkeys, Team No More and Borroloola battling it out for the TJ Tilley Shield. There were some great performances and a fantastic spirit around the ground. All teams gathered together under the leadership of Marcus Rosas to unite as one to say "No More" to family violence. The "No More" Team took the honors in the Shield while the Kalano Community Ground saw the Nitmiluk Cup matches taking place. The Cup was played with some fierce competition from local Katherine teams and included the Darwin Warriors, Pacific Crackers, Punjabi Kings, Katherine Crocs and the Katherine District Cricket reigning premiers - the Katherine Camels. The final was another scorcher with the Darwin Warriors reigning supreme for 2018.
The Rossy Williams Shield is the marquee cricket event in Tennant Creek and this year was no exception. Tennant Creek is approximately 1000kms south of Darwin and 500kms north of Alice Springs on the Stuart Highway. The carnival includes a 7-a-side competition and has major support from the local Anyinginyi Health Corporation. This year featured a junior game during the weekend carnival, with children aged 5-12 playing their match on Saturday night, which was a huge hit with the children and local community. Men's and women's teams featured in the carnival, with two ladies teams taking part over the weekend. Seven men's teams played for the Shield with teams travelling to the Barkly centre to enjoy the games, including one team from the small community of Elliot on the Stuart Hwy. The Telegraph Cyclones were the eventual winners of the Rossy Williams Shield for 2018, and were proud to hold it aloft again after claiming it in 2017.
NT Cricket Head of Community Cricket, Narelle Morrison reflected on the 2018 remote carnivals "it was another great opportunity for NT Cricket to partner with Regional Councils and help them to stage a cricket carnival in remote regions, to celebrate communities and bring people together for some quality cricket. When you get to see the passion and enjoyment of kids and adults together, enjoying the game and the atmosphere, you really get an appreciation for cricket being a sport for all. This year the carnival schedule was compacted into a shorter time-frame than previous years, which meant some teams weren't able to travel to the games. NT Cricket will look to work with local stakeholders and revise the timing of the 2019 carnival calendar so that we can increase the opportunity for everyone to get there and participate in these events.
The ongoing success of the Community Cricket Carnivals is due to the support of the Lord's Taverners, the Regional Councils, Agencies and volunteers who take part in the events to share the love of cricket with all in the NT remote community.