Across South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, local football and netball competitions are having a break from the weekly town pastime of Saturday Footy.
A couple of coverage areas are playing due to quirks of their draws. North Central and Sunraysia in north west Victoria are both 9 team competitions and to play everyone twice means limited breaks through the season. The pick of the matches at Ouyen on Saturday when the Kangasmeet Redcliffs in the famous ‘Cua Cup’ while in North Central the powerhouse Sea Lake Nandaly take on giant killers Donald at the Royals Richardson River venue.
For the remainder of areas and particularly in South Australia, there are just a few interleague events. The biggest is on the Eyre Peninsula where the long running Mortlock Shield is a local staple with Great Flinders, Eastern Eyre, Western Eyre and Port Lincoln City and District playing Saturday and Monday while the under 15 boys play on Sunday for the Norwood Cup.
In South Australia’s Mid North they play for the Nutrien Cup on Saturday at Kadina. Sides representing the Northern Areas, North Eastern, Yorke Peninsula and Adelaide Plains fight for supremacy at Senior and Under 17 age level.
Across at Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills, the same ground use for the AFL ‘s regional Gather Round ‘Summit Park’ is the venue for 4 matches as the Riverland meet Hills Country at Senior Level and the River Murray take on the local Hills teams in under 18 and Senior age groups.
In the South East of SA, the Kowree Naracoorte and Tatiara meet both the Mid South Eastern and Western Border sides at Bordertown.
New South Wales regions are having a well earnt Kings Birthday long weekend break. Turvey Park lead the Riverina Senior footy competition but Wagga Tigers, GGGM Lions, Griffith Swans, MCUE Goannas and Coolamon are all challengers. Meanwhile in Farrer, The Rock Yerong Creek are in undefeated form and head allcomers while further south in Hume football the Osborne Tigers are away again and undefeated with Holbrook, Howlong and CDHBU Power the best of the others. Great to see that the Lockhart Dees and the Billabong Crows are improvers this year.
Through into Victoria, the North Central is dominated by Sea Lake Nandaly but they are challenged by newcomers Nullawil and last years grand finalists Birchip Watchem and Donald are improving by the week. You have to like the way Arrarat are going about leading the Wimmera Football League. They haven’t lost yet but pressure is mounting for the Saints, Dimboola and the Southern Mallee Giants. Last years premiers Minyip Murtoa are still to show their best and are outside the top 5.
In Horsham District, no one has got close to Harrow Balmoral but the Jeparit Rainbow storm have a midfield from some handy Darwin recruits and will be tough come dry September footy grounds. Sunraysia is anyones for the taking with Robinvale early leaders, last years premiers Irymple still a real threat and Wentworth has some power forwards in Hancock and Brander that will test any country footy defence. Ouyen United is yet to get a fit full team on the oval and may make a late run.
Finally, the Millewa has Cardross leading Gol Gol and Bambil but spare a thought for the Meringur Kangaroos as they face massive score against each week but keep turning up a the beautiful Lake Cullulleraine.
Across the border in South Australia, the Riverland is led by Loxton North but one thinks Renmark can make it four premierships in a row. The new Murray Valley league is going well with Sedan Cambrai leading the comp but challenges will come from Murrayville and Browns Well. The old SA Mallee competition like that in Victoria is now gone, but like Victoria the emergence of the Southern Mallee amalgamated side from Pinnaroo and Lameroo is proving a master stroke as the new Suns lead the River Murray. Behind them are powerhouse sides Jervois and Imperials. Look out for a late charge from Mypolonga and the Coorong Cats to make the top 5.
In KNT we are seeing a close competition like last year where it looks like any side can win on a given day and surface. But the most consistent is the Border Districts who have recruited well and surprising everyone at the top of the ladder. Mundulla are going about their business and will be their in September while Naracoorte and Keith look like they can beat allcomers. Kingston are frustrating pundits and their beloved supporters but look like side that could make finals while Bordertown have won their last two games after getting close in a number of games.
Robe leads the Mid South East competition but Port mac, Kalangadoo, Hatherleigh and even the Burr could challenge that. In the Barossa it is South from Barossa Districts and Nuriootpa Rover. The rest are pretty worried. Meanwhile Moonta looks good in YP and Two Wells has a hand on the Adelaide Plains trophy. In North Eastern the powerful BSR Tigers don’t look like missing their 6th flag in 7 years. Eudunda Robby and Min Man are contenders while Burra needs consistency. Northern Areas was a one horse race until last Saturday when the previously undefeated Crystal Brook lost to Orroroo.
In Western Eyre the reigning premiers Ceduna Blues are leading again but Western United want revenge and West Coast Hawks have some star quality. Eastern Eyre is between Ranges, Central Eyre Storm and Ports while Great Flinders is about whoever can beat United Yeelana deserves the flag. Last years runners up Elliston Districts might be a bit off the pace but should finish the season well.
All in all, it is good to have a little mid season break for the Kings Birthday and no country footy team is celebrating too soon!