Weekly Wrap | The final weekend of country footy was blessed with sensational weather as we crowned the final premiers for season 2023.
It was a 1 point thriller in the Ballarat FNL decider between the Darley FNC and North Ballarat FNL where it was Darley who fought back from15 points down halfway through the final quarter to win 11.5 71 to 10. 10 70. The hero or villain depending on which club you support, was Darley FNC forward Billy Myers who won a contentious free kick directly in front of goal. He kicked truly to put the Devils in front in the final seconds of the match.
Last year in the Ovens and Murray FNL grand final, Yarrawonga FNC were defeated by 3 points to Wangaratta FNC who would subsequently go on to lose their flag due to salary cap breaches. This year Yarrawonga FNC were able to be on the right side of another close one, this time holding on by 4 points against Albury FNC 11.10 76 to 10.12 72, in a grand final match that will be long remembered as an all time classic. In another close finish, Golden Square FNC won their first Bendigo FNL flag in 10 years by defeating Sandhurst by a single straight kick, 10.11 71 to 9.11 65. Former Melbourne and Carlton forward Jeff Garlett had a chance to win the game after marking uncontested 45m out, but his set shot failed to make the distance and was marked by a Yarrawonga defender who cleared the ball out of the Tigers forward line. The siren sounded 30 seconds later.
In the Central Murray FNL, Kerang FNC overcame a 10 point halftime deficit to win by that exact margin in their clash with Balranald FNC to claim back to back flags. Other back to back premiership winners on the weekend were Leongatha FNC in the Gippsland FNL who were too strong for Wonthaggi FNC and in the Goulburn FNL it was back to back premiership medals for Echuca FNC who ran away with the game after halftime to defeat Kyabram FNC by 36 points 15.13 103 to 9.13 67.
The remaining premierships from the weekend were one sided affairs. Leopold FNC in the Geelong FNL were impressive to win the flag from 4th place on the ladder with a strong 50 point win over South Barwon FNC while in the Hampden FNL South Warrnambool FNC were far too strong for rivals North Warrnambool FNC winning 9.13 67 to 4.8 32. Wandin FNC were convincing 63 point winners over reigning Outer East FNL premiers Narre Warren FNC, with former Carlton and North Melbourne forward Aaron Mullett kicking 6 goals for the victors.