CHFL Anzac Day double-feature 'a resounding success'

CENTRAL Highlands Football League has declared the launch of Anzac Day competition a resounding success after a double-header of matches yesterday.

Springbank hosted Buninyong during the afternoon before Clunes welcomed Bungaree under lights in a blockbuster day of football and netball.

They are believed to be the only matches ever played on Anzac Day in the league’s history.

Five fixtures took place around the region, including two in the Ballarat Football League and one in the Maryborough Castlemaine District ranks. 

Ballarat hosted East Point and Darley took on arch rival Bacchus Marsh, while Trentham and Maryborough Rovers also battled it out under lights.

Central Highlands administrator Diane Ryan, who was at Wallace yesterday, said the Anzac Day concept had been a terrific initiative by the clubs involved.

“Congratulations to all four clubs for the spirit of co-operation and community which they have approached these important fixtures in the context of the CHFL,” she posted on the league website.

Talks are already under way between clubs to continue the tradition with return fixtures next year.

Meanwhile, the Ballarat Football League says there is a delicate balance in giving crowds what they want while still maintaining the appropriate respect for the occasion.

Crowds were noticeably boosted at Alfredton Oval and Darley Park yesterday, with swarms taking advantage of the standalone fixtures in each city.

BFL operations manager Aaron Nunn said a decision was made to ensure there was only one match played in Ballarat yesterday.

At least six clubs applied to play for the Anzac Day special, but Nunn said it was important not to simply make the day another day of football.

Clubs given the chance to play were also required to donate a portion of their gates takings to the RSL.

“It’s about being respectful of what the day is about and our clubs are good at paying the respects properly,” Nunn said.

“We deliberately only scheduled one game per town so it wasn’t overdone.”