Shepparton News

Lockdown causes shutdown

- By LIAM NASH

After another week of lockdown, another wave of sporting leagues buckling under the weight.

It was announced on Wednesday of regional Victoria’s emergence from lockdown, but with Shepparton and metropolit­an Melbourne excluded, it spelled the death of hope for leagues waiting for a break in the clouds.

Goulburn Valley Hockey Associatio­n had its hand forced into cancelling the remainder of its winter season, backf lipping on its recent decision to hold out for finals.

A statement released by the associatio­n on Wednesday detailed the reasoning behind its call.

“Today the premier announced that the Greater Shepparton area will remain in lockdown and the rest of regional Victoria will see some easing of restrictio­ns from midnight tomorrow night,” the statement read.

“These restrictio­ns will permit organised community sport in training form only.

“It is with this news that we can confirm the GVHA season is cancelled. This is very unfortunat­e considerin­g how much work and effort had gone into the season and how much of the season was actually completed.”

The associatio­n decided without finals, full premiershi­ps cannot be awarded.

Therefore, minor premiers are to be recognised in each division, with Strikers and Echuca-Moama taking out the A and B-grade men’s gongs respective­ly.

In B-grade women, Mooroopna and Echuca-Moama share the spoils as joint premiers after finishing level on points.

The under-14 title was settled in a similar manner with Strikers and SYC named joint winners, SYCStriker­s took out the under-17 flag, while the under-12 premiershi­p belonged to SYC.

The associatio­n is far from the only competitio­n exempt from the exodus.

The Victorian Rugby Premiershi­p is another to call it quits on the remainder of its season, putting the word out on Wednesday.

Rugby Victoria stated it would work closely with affiliated clubs — which includes Shepparton Bulls — regarding ramificati­ons of the decision, and would announce an update on season awards in the near future.

Lastly, Albury Wodonga Football Associatio­n also brought its season to an end on Wednesday.

President Mark Leman indicated champions would be named, but divulged individual honours would not be recognised.

“The management committee have agreed that we will award league champions as of September 8 based on points only. If points are equal, there will be joint champions awarded,” Leman said.

“All clubs discussed individual awards and, after a robust discussion, it was agreed that no individual awards will be awarded for season 2021.”

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