Mid Gippsland league’s great test

Football | Interleague

Mid Gippsland Football League faces Warrnambool and District FNL on Saturday at Morwell East as part of the Vic Country Worksafe Country Championships.

MGFL is ranked 27th and WDFNL 28th.

The Warrnambool league includes 12 clubs, Allansford, Kalora-Noorat, Dennington, Old Collegians, Merrivale, Deakin University, Niranda, Timboon, East Warrnambool, Panmure, Warrnambool South and Russell’s Creek.

Dominant teams over the past six years have been Kolora-Noorat (Premiers 2009/10/11), Panmure (Premiers 2012/13) and Merrivale (2014).

The current league leader is Allansford.

The Warrnambool and District FNL is jointly coached by Darcy Lewis (currently coaches Dennington) and Karl Dwyer (second-year Merrivale coach).

Last year WDFNL was defeated by Colac and District League by nine points, while Mid Gippsland was well beaten at Warragul by Ellinbank FL.

MGFL is again coached by Kris Kyriacou, a former Trafalgar coach and current player.

MGFL has a long history of interleague matches, stretching back to 1946 when it first played RAAF-East Sale as a curtain raiser to the 1946 grand final, winning 12.17 (89) to 4.9 (33).

The first interleague match was arranged against Cowwarr FL in 1947 at Morwell with MGFL winning 9.15 (69) to 5.13 (43).

Over the years MGFL has played against many leagues and AFL clubs with mixed success.

In 1968 a combined Gippsland team, including MGFL representatives John Burleigh, Buck Moncur, Reg Bacon, Barry Rowley, John Dunne, Ken Nicholas and Brian Ferguson, played Hawthorn at Leongatha.

The game began late after the Hawthorn bus broke down, but the Hawks defeated Gippsland 12.11 (83) to 6.8 (44).

Hawthorn’s best were Don Scott and Peter Crimmins.

After a seven-year gap MGFL resumed playing interleague in 2012 against Picola DFL at Visy Park, Melbourne.

MGFL has fielded junior teams, also with mixed results.

Saturday’s match is a chance for MGFL players to play against a team of unknown quality which will be a big test for the locals.