The Geelong Football League has retained its crown as the best community competition in Victoria, following its 22-point victory over the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League at the MCG.
The win marks the fifth straight year the GFL has held the mantle, winning the AFL Victoria Community Championships showpiece fixture 16.9 (105) to 11.7 (83) at the home of football.
The GFL were never really threatened, kicking the first three goals of the game against an inaccurate Peninsula side, something GFL coach Jeremy Dyer highlighted as a key point of the game.
“That first quarter gave us the momentum, we were 3 or 4 goals up which we were able to keep for the game”, Dyer said.
“It’s a little bit easier trying to control that rather than playing chase up”.
Highly respected Newtown veteran midfielder Matt McMahon took home the Bob Cahir medal for best on ground honors in a virtuoso performance. He was ably supported by captain and North Shore star Jason Davenport (3 goals) and last year’s best on ground medalist, Colac’s Campbell Floyd.
Dyer, who has now led the GFL to three consecutive Interleague victories, said the carrot of playing on the MCG was an opportunity his strong side was never going to turn down.
“Everyone wanted to play here so it made my job trying to pick the side a little bit harder, which was a good thing”, he said.
“I said to our boys we had a really strong side on paper, but that doesn’t mean much when you run out”.
MPNFL coach John Hynes, who played all four of his AFL games for Carlton on the MCG, paid credit to his counterpart and the GFL side.
“I suppose today we got outclassed”, said Hynes. “If it wasn’t for some inaccurate kicking we might’ve had ourselves a closer game”.
The GFL’s next challenge will come against the Eastern Football League in 2018, a side they defeated by seven goals in their previous meeting last year.
Dyer however stated all staff and players would soak up the experience of the victory this year, and enjoy the privilege of being the curtain raiser to the Geelong-Essendon game, which followed the Interleague fixture.
“It’s a good testament to our league and the quality that it is, that they (players) get the recognition they deserve to play out here on the MCG and remain number 1”, he said.
Geelong FL 5.1, 9.2, 14.4, 16.9 (105)
Mornington Peninsula Nepean FL 1.4, 4.11, 8.13, 11.17 (83)
Goals; GFL: J. Davenport 3, S. Dobson 3, S. Close 2, C. Delaney 2, B. Haintz, B. Dobson, J. Thompson, R. Monaghan, C. Moreland, J. McLachlan
MPNFL: N. Corp 2, M. La Fontaine 2, L. Tapscott 2, S. MacLeod, S. McDonald, P. Minchington, K. Hutchison, J. Miller
Best; GFL : M. McMahon, J. Symes, J. Davenport, C. Moreland, S. Dobson, N. Peoples
MPFNL : D. Jones, B. Cosson, S. MacLeod, J. Hallahan, W. Miller, S. McDonald