AFL Gippsland’s imminent death wish for the 83-year-old Mid Gippsland Football League, couldn’t dissuade droves of supporters paying a record gate of $37,500 at Morwell Recreation Reserve, to see Trafalgar defeat Yinnar by 16 points in the 2018 seniors grand final on Saturday.
It appears certain all MGFL’s 10 clubs will join as one in a fervent attempt to stave off AFL Gippsland’s proposed amalgamation of Mid Gippsland Football League and Alberton Football Netball League into a newly-named 15-team Central and South Gippsland Competition.
AFL Gippsland has called Mid Gippsland and Alberton club presidents to meet with it on Wednesday evening at Morwell RSL, to further discuss the draft amalgamation.
AFL Gippsland’s request for MGFL and AFNL clubs to respond with feedback comments on its draft recommendation for change has recently been extended from September 14 to 17.
A decision on the future of both leagues will be announced by AFL Gippsland on Friday, September 21, after which any appeals against the merger must be submitted to it by September 28.
In great news for Mirboo North, Clancy Bennett, Julian Blackford and Jake Nash were selected in Mid Gippsland’s 2018 team of the year.
Along with playing coach Josh Taylor, Bennett won his first Mirboo North senior club best and fairest award, with both players receiving 89 votes.
Taylor also won the award in 2016.
Drama was high when Bennett secured four votes in Mirboo North’s round 18 clash against Yallourn-Yallourn North.
Despite a leg injury limiting Bennett to 13 home and away appearances, it enabled him to draw level with the ‘Blond Bombshell’ on senior team manager Brian McCormack’s second-last call of the night.
Unfortunately for Mirboo North on Saturday, its 17s netballers and only grand final representative, lost a tight 37 to 40 battle to Trafalgar.
In beautiful spring sunshine at Morwell’s new show court, Mirboo North trailed the Bloods by a goal at the first break.
Although more ground was lost during the second quarter, the mighty Tigers fought back hard in the third term and took a two-goal lead into the last quarter.
With the lead changing hands on numerous occasions in the race to the finish line, Trafalgar finally gained the ascendency and won the pennant by three goals.
Mirboo North’s team: Chloe Palmer, Mikaeli Hilliar, Maddi Knowles, Jaime Chila, Melissa Blackshaw, Chloe Maxwell, Taleisha Snell, Lucy Edmondson and Gemma McCormack.
This year is the first since 1996 where neither a Mirboo North football nor netball team hasn’t won a Mid Gippsland flag.
In 21 plenteous seasons from 1997 to 2017, MNFNC landed 37 Mid Gippsland football and netball premierships across all grades.
Mirboo North’s under 10 junior Tigers won the Central Gippsland Junior Football League premiership against Yinnar at Ted Summerton Reserve Moe on Sunday.
In a low scoring tussle where desperate defenders were on top for both teams, Mirboo North’s Tyler Davy booted the only goal of the game and his first in 12 appearances this season.
Final scores: Mirboo North 1.2.8 d Yinnar 0.0.0.
The Tigers’ under 12 youth girls battled courageously in their grand final loss to Newborough, with Ainslee Logan and Jasmine Pearce each kicking a goal.
Final scores: Newborough 4.4.28 d Mirboo North 2.0.12.
Mirboo North best and fairest
Seniors football: C Bennett 89 votes, J Taylor 89, J Brooks 75, L Powell 72, D Turner 71.
Reserves football: S Peters 96, K Holmes 91, K Wilson 59.
A Grade netball: J Le Page 45, K Densley 43, M Hilliar 41.
B Grade netball: J Chila 46, L Andrews 38, M Hilliar 41.
C Grade netball: S Harriage 45, A Symmons 34, S St Ellen 34.
D Grade netball: A Snell 41, S Falkingham 35, K Symmons 29.
Mirboo North’s junior football and netball best and fairest award counts, along with presentation night will be held at Tigerland headquarters this Friday evening.