​Myrtleford to hit the switch for first night match against Wangaratta Rovers

McNamara Reserve committee of management chairman Bob McNamara believes the lights will provide more opportunities for the Alpine Saints and community.

McNamara Reserve committee of management chairman Bob McNamara believes the lights will provide more opportunities for the Alpine Saints and community.

MYRTLEFORD’S McNamara Reserve will host the Ovens Valley’s first night match against Wangaratta Rovers in round four next season.

With the Alpine Saints receiving a $238,000 lighting upgrade for the oval and netball courts, league officials granted the club permission to break new ground in their 2018 fixture.

“We had a massive upgrade with four new light towers and four new lights and we’re looking forward to bringing night football to the Ovens Valley for the first time,” club president Michael Quirk said.

“They are one level below Wangaratta’s so we can’t hold an AFL standard game but they are fantastic.

“We put it to the Ovens and Murray, they accepted it and we’re really looking forward to the day.”

The starting time for the senior match on Saturday, April 21, will be decided in coming weeks with a twilight game a possibility.

Quirk said the clash could lead to more night matches.

“It might be a sign of the times,” he said.

“You try different things and hopefully they work.

“It’s something new for the Ovens Valley.”

The lighting upgrade could also result in more junior football being played at McNamara Reserve while the netball lighting has opened the door for midweek night tennis.

Myrtleford was one of the big winners in the fixture with the Alpine Saints kicking off their season against North Albury at McNamara Reserve in a stand-alone match in round one on Sunday, April 1.

Co-coach Terry Burgess will come up against his former side Corowa-Rutherglen in round two.

“We’re rapt with the draw,” Quirk said.

“The Easter Sunday game is so important to us and the Queens Birthday and Anzac Day games as well.

“Draws are draws but we’re happy with the fixture overall.”

Ovens and Murray chairman Graeme Patterson said the league supported Myrtleford’s application.

“The lights are up to standard and it’s a huge opportunity for the club,” Patterson said.

“It’s a real positive.”

The league will continue to hold their annual community rounds, with White Ribbon Round scheduled for round 13 on Saturday, July 14.

It also plans to schedule a round for the Red Cross Blood Service.

Meanwhile, Yarrawonga and Wangaratta presidents Andrew Mott and Col McClounan will be stepping down from their posts over the next month.

Mott has spent the last three years as president while McClounan has had five years in charge of the Magpies.