OvensMurrayFNl22 squarev2KB Hill | Country football giants Ovens & Murray and Goulburn Valley tangle for the 27th time at the Albury Sports Ground this Saturday.

It comes 93 years after their initial clash at Wangaratta, back in June 1930.

Despite the fact that representative footy has fallen out of favour with the modern generation, the major-league near-neighbours are doing their best to promulgate what has always been an intense rivalry. In so doing, the barely-flickering flame of Inter-League football remains alive.

It has waxed and waned over the years. In fact, the O & M possibly laid claim to the revival of Inter-League matches when they selected a team to embark on a tour of New South Wales in June 1952.

The projected trip tickled the fancy of all O & M players, and they were keen to clamber on board, to be a part of the historic, week-long jaunt. Even Corowa’s veteran captain-coach Tommy ‘The Turk’ Lahiff, who wasn’t selected in the squad, joined the travelling entourage.

The first port-of-call was the Riverina town of Leeton, where a huge crowd paid £177 to see the South-West League handed a football lesson:

“The visitors showed how to support a team-mate by running to receive a hand-pass……and they were equally adept at leading to position……..They also gained the advantage by their superiority in the air….This came as a big surprise, because the South-West team included some particularly high fliers……..” the ‘Murrumbidgee Irrigator’ reported.

It was a slaughter, as the O & M booted 7.6 to 0.3 in the opening term, on their way to a 24.16 160) to 7.10 (52) victory.

Champion Rutherglen spearhead Kevin Gleeson kicked 12 goals in the avalanche, whilst his dynamic Redleg team-mate Joey Gilfius chipped in with four.

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