Ovens and Murray and Hume leagues go head-to-head on grand final day

The Hume league is unlikely to move its grand final day to avoid a clash with the Ovens and Murray.
The Hume league is unlikely to move its grand final day to avoid a clash with the Ovens and Murray.

THE Ovens and Murray and Hume leagues have locked in their grand finals for the same day.

In a mix-up which could cost the competitions thousands of dollars at the gate, the leagues have fixtured their premiership deciders for Saturday, September 22.

While the Hume league is yet to release its draw, directors voted on the date earlier this month and the move was ratified at a board meeting on Wednesday night.

Ovens and Murray general manager Sean Barrett confirmed the clash of dates. 

“We’re working through it with the Hume league at the moment and are confident of achieving a good result for local footy,” Barrett said.

The Tallangatta and District grand final has been pushed back to September 15 this year while the AFL will play-off on September 29.

The Ovens and Murray is now likely to come under pressure to move its grand final back to Sunday, September 23.

A twilight match is another possible scenario.

It is believed the Hume league has no intention of changing its date after being a traditional Saturday grand final competition.

Ovens and Murray and Hume league officials are expected to comment further on Friday after looking at all options.

Ovens and Murray chairman Graeme Patterson said September’s 6425 crowd at Lavington Sportsground fell about 1000 short of expectations.

A similar crowd saw Osborne defeat Jindera at Walbundrie the previous weekend this year.

The crowd for this year’s clash between Wangaratta and Albury was up 2300 on the previous season when the Tigers hammered Lavington in poor conditions.

Albury’s dominance of the competition over the past decade has been blamed by some for the dwindling numbers.

The league has over the past 12 months stated its preference for the Hume, TDFL and Ovens and Murray to have its own grand final weekends.

The Ovens and Murray also believed it was a bonus with the Goulburn Valley playing the following day with travellers from Melbourne able to watch both grand finals.

Lavington and Wodonga will kick off the 2018 season under lights at Lavington Sportsground on Good Friday.

The TDFL will start the weekend after Easter on April 7 which is a week later than this year.

It remains unclear when the Hume league will release its draw