Yarrawonga Chronicle

Whirlwind season plays on


Tungamah Football Netball Club have had a whirlwind few weeks with two scheduled matches cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictio­ns.

The Bears round 10 match against Yarroweyah was postponed to July 21, a Wednesday fixture to make up the missed game however with Victoria sent back into lockdown on July 15, that match was cancelled.

Last weekend Tungamah were then scheduled to take on Jerilderie, who are now outside the border bubble, at Berrigan but at the 11th hour plans changed.

Tungamah Football Netball Club President Josh Buerckner said it has been an unfortunat­e set of events, but the club are working with everyone to ensure the season resumption.

“With our missed game against Yarroweyah, we are working on a resolution with them which will hopefully be finalised in the next day or so and hope to get the best result possible for both clubs,” Mr Buerckner said.

“It is unfortunat­e that we have found ourselves in this position twice now, but that is the luck of the draw.

“The league and the other clubs have been willing to work with us to find the best resolution­s possible under trying circumstan­ces and we thank them for this.

“We are looking forward to hosting Blighty this weekend to finish the home and away season and then jump into finals the following week.

“Hopefully we can get the season finished without any further disruption­s, but we are all keeping our fingers crossed.”

Picola and District Football Netball League Operations Manager Shane Railton said last weekend’s cancellati­on was revealed only a short time before the start of matches.

“Berrigan Shire Council provided notice that they did not permit Berrigan Football Club/Netball Club to have Tungamah and Jerilderie play games at Berrigan Recreation Reserve,” Mr Railton said.

“As such those matches had to be cancelled. “Through mutual agreement by clubs all premiershi­p points for all grades of football and netball were shared, two points each.

“The PDFNL was disappoint­ed by this decision and timing but respect that it is the wish of the Berrigan council.

“PDFNL will consider the impact this decision will have upon the Jerilderie Football and Netball clubs’ ability to participat­e in the remainder of this season and the use of Berrigan Council venues.

“The PDFNL sympathise­s with both Tungamah FNC and Jerilderie FNC whilst acknowledg­ing the effort by Berrigan FNC and that this decision was beyond their control and against their wishes

“Both clubs decided to split the points after consulting with the league as this close to finals it would be impossible to make the game up and it was the fairest result,” Mr Buerckner added.

“It did not impact on any of our teams in terms of ladder positions going forward.”

As for the last week of home and away matches this weekend, Mr Railton said it is business as usual.

“All plans remain in place with no change and no need at this stage to schedule another meeting,” Mr Railton said.

“Sport is one of the six reasons for Victorians to travel into NSW and whilst Victorian’s aren’t able to go purely to spectate in NSW, people who reside in NSW including those outside the bubble can.”

Murray Football Netball League General Manager Dale Norman said at this stage the MFNL season will resume this weekend, Saturday, August 7 with games as scheduled.

“There is confirmati­on that rounds 14, 15 and 16 have been cancelled and future games will be played in line with State Government covid rules and regulation­s,” Mr Norman said.

“This includes in Victoria; no general spectators are permitted. Spectators are only permitted for the purposes of supervisin­g children or dependents.

“Finals dates will not change. The Murray FNL remains committed to playing the Grand Final on September 18.

“The Murray FNL are still working through the impact of today (Monday’s) Victorian Government announceme­nt will have on future rounds and finals.

“The Victorian Government has shown utter contempt for regional areas where there have been no cases of covid. The hypocrisy is insane.

“Metro NSW is having over a hundred cases a day yet in regional NSW schools remain open, pubs, clubs and cafes continue to operate, and sport has not been hindered with crowds in attendance.

“With the Victorian Government, it is like having a dead elephant on our back, slowing crushing and suffocatin­g regional communitie­s.”

The Murray FNL Executive and clubs also confirmed in a statement to social media that the finals would be restructur­ed to a final eight across all grades of football and netball.

“The motivation behind the decision is to encourage participat­ion, providing an incentive for clubs who currently sit outside the top six to get back training with a spot in the finals now achievable,” the statement read.

“Clubs currently locked in the finals have an opportunit­y to secure a double chance by finishing in the top four.

“The decision is sure to generate excitement for players and supporters. We look forward to an enthrallin­g final series to complete the season. A season like no other.

“Venues to be determined once it becomes clearer what covid protocols the league will encounter.”

The Ovens and Murray Football Netball League, which have four NSW teams and six Victorian will play on this week with no crowds in Victoria.

“Following a consultati­ve process with each of the clubs, the O&M Board confirm the season will go ahead this Saturday as per the draw,” OMFNL Chairman David Sinclair said.

“No games will be relocated with Victorian games to be played with no crowds. The games that are played in NSW are able to see crowds however Victorian spectators will not be able to cross to go and watch a game.

“All games will be played with state government mandated crowd limits and we will still see a final five finals system with the grand final to be played on Sunday, September 19.

“Whilst it has been an incredibly difficult period for everyone, it’s absolutely imperative that community sport gets up and going again as soon as possible.

“To that end we are determined to recommence the O&M season and get the competitio­n through to its conclusion. We now look forward to this Saturday to resume play.”

Yarrawonga Football Netball Club President Ross Mulquiney said it was sad not to play in front of supporters, but the game must go on.

“Our club, we hope, is a place for people to come and watch sport and meet people. Without you all being part of it, it loses what makes it great, you,” Mr Mulquiney said.

“We all hope things will change, but as a club we have steeled ourselves to play on regardless.”

For more on how the rest of the O&M and MFNL home and away seasons and PDFNL finals will play out , check out next week’s Yarrawonga Chronicle.

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