Originally written by DENIS BELDEN
THE South West District Football Netball League will continue with a Saturday grand final in 2002, forcing it into a direct clash with the Western Border Football League preliminary final.
In years past the two leagues have worked together to ensure the two matches do not clash, with the South West grand final traditionally on the Saturday and Western Border playing its preliminary final the following day.
However when the Western Border clubs late last year voted in favor of moving back to a Saturday grand final and Saturday preliminary final for 2002, it meant decision time for the South West.
Either the league had to go head-to-head with a Saturday grand final, or play it on the Sunday.
A meeting of club delegates on Monday night rejected the proposal to move to a Sunday, meaning that on Saturday September 14 its grand final will be in direct competition for crowds with the Western Border preliminary final.
Following Monday’s meeting, the South West league has released its draw for the 2002 season, which will be played over 18 rounds.
The season will kick off on April 13 – one week after Western Border – and there will be no play on the June long weekend (June 8-10).
As was the case last season, clubs will play three other clubs twice and four others on three occasions.
The first weekend of finals have been altered so that the qualifying final (August 24) will now be played on the Saturday and the elimination final on the Sunday. The move was made to ensure that the highest-placed team would have any advantage in terms of a six-day or seven-day break leading into the second week of the finals. The move also puts the South West league in line with most other competitions.
The round one fixture sees traditional rivals Tyrendarra and Westerns lock horns at Tyrendarra, while it will be a long wait for the grand final replay of Tyrendarra v Heathmere, with that match not scheduled until round seven at Heathmere.
The full South West draw appears on PAGE 31.