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Deniliquin's grand final stand-by

Mathoura Football and Netball Club is at risk of losing the Picola & District Football Netball League grand final, with it possibly going to Deni Rovers.

SHAUN CONNOR August 1, 2014 3:22am

The fate of this year’s Picola & District Football Netball League grand final venue is in the hands of Murray Shire.

Mathoura Football and Netball Club was set to host the big day in September but is now at risk of losing it, possibly to the Deni Rovers.

Picola League president Shane Railton said an independent audit of Mathoura’s netball court showed it was not compliant with Netball Victoria guidelines because of two light poles encroaching on the playing surface.

Murray Shire believes removing the light poles could cost $13,500 and councillors will meet Tuesday to discuss whether it is a viable option.

Mathoura president Tim McCormick, meanwhile, has until Wednesday to advise the league if the club still intends on hosting the grand final.

Having agreed to hand over hosting last year’s grand final to the Deni Rovers, Mr McCormick said the risk of losing this year’s would be devastating.

‘‘We were not ready to host the grand final last year, so we had a handshake agreement with Deni (to swap). We have worked really hard this year to improve the club,’’ he said.

‘‘If we were to lose the grand final it would be a massive kick in the guts. It could generate profit of between $15,000 and $25,000 for the club.

‘‘It is not just about the gate, it’s about gaining the respect of the league. Two years ago we were talking about closing the door and throwing away the key.’’

Mr Railton told the Pastoral Times yesterday the Deni Rovers were on ‘‘standby’’ to take over hosting duties. A venue will be confirmed by August 8.

Rovers president Craig McCulloch said his club was capable of hosting the grand final for a second year in a row.

A total of $29,900 was taken at the Memorial Park gate last year, eclipsing the previous record by $360.

‘‘We’ve held it before ... we can do it again,’’ Mr McCulloch said.

‘‘It would be all hands on deck but we would have enough time to get everything organised.’’

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