Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Finley to host first Murray Football League night final

Murray Football League punters will have to wait until round 10 of next season for the grand final rematch between Nathalia and Finley.

December 19, 2012 4:08am

The pair will renew acquaintances at Nathalia Recreation Reserve on Saturday, June 8.

It was the only quirk of an otherwise straightforward season fixture, which was ratified at the league’s annual general meeting recently.

An Easter weekend rivalry round will open the season, with reigning premier Nathalia opening its title defence against Tongala on Good Friday, April 29.

It will be one of three games for the day, including the cross-river derby between Moama and Echuca United and battle for the Shane Crawford-Leo Barry Cup between Finley and 2011 premier Deniliquin.

The clash between Cobram and Barooga will headline the remaining games on the Saturday.

Like last season, Numurkah will have the bye in round one.

Other features of the draw include two night games at Finley Recreation Reserve, with the home side to host Mulwala and Rumbalara in rounds two and four.

Finley will also be the venue for the league’s first ever night final, with the first elimination final to be played under lights on Saturday, August 31.

The grand final will be played on Saturday, September 21.

MFL general manager Dale Norman said the league had also introduced a general bye in July to coincide with the representative game between AFL Victoria and Victorian Amateur Football Association.

‘‘Hopefully with a good performance in the interleague versus Bellarine we get a couple of players that may be playing that day,’’ Norman said.

At the same meeting, it was announced the league had posted a $2000 loss in season 2012.

Norman attributed the loss to an interleague campaign that required an MFL representative team to travel to Mildura, and called for more funding for such situations.

‘‘The compensation paid by the (Victorian Country Football League) for travel was welcome, but not significant enough to travel one-way, even to Swan Hill,’’ Norman said.

‘‘For those leagues that are forced to travel, they need to be ably compensated.’’

According to Norman, spending included ‘‘unprecedented’’ funding to junior programs and the interleague netball team.

There was only one change at board level, with Graham Millen retiring after 11 years on the executive.

With no nominations put forward, the position remains vacant and Norman said the executive would look to fill it before the start of the season.

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