Ovens and Murray down Hampden League in VCFL Inter League clash

The Victorian Country Football Championships made their way to Carlton’s Visy Park last Sunday where the fifth ranked Ovens and Murray League took on the sixth ranked Hampden League. With the unfortunate aspect of both teams having to travel to meet each other around half-way fans of both sides could be excused for not turning up. Consequently only a handful of spectators made their way through the gates.

It didn’t detract from the match however with the more fancied O & M putting on a polished display to down the Hampden League by 48 points. The O & M used the ball more impressively through the midfield and had strong marking targets up forward which their opponents struggled to control for the majority of the game.

O&M captain, North Albury’s Daniel Leslie, directed charges around him as he bagged four goals and Wodonga’s Brett Doswell won the medal for best on ground. The win has elevated O&M to fourth in the VCFL’s Country Championships rankings.

The Hampden League kicked the first two goals of the match before the O&M found their feet, piling on the next seven goals to lead by 32 points at the first change. Hampden’s Jason Rowan (Warrnambool) and Josh Walters (Warrnambool) found plenty of the ball and did their best to keep their team in the game. However, former Sydney Swan, Ed Barlow (Wangaratta), Jamie Allan (Wangaratta) and Sam Milne (Albury) were getting their hands on the ball too often and the run thorugh the midfield was carving up the Hampden League.

Hampden kicked the last four goals of the second term to reduce the margin to twenty points at the main break. In fact their final three quarters weren’t bad, kicking 8.6 to O&M 11.4. The ‘Bottlegreens’ never stopped trying and for a fifteen minute period in the first quarter where the Ovens and Murray ran amok, the game would have been a lot closer.

The Ovens and Murray did widen the gap with shots on goal and inside fifties however. The final score being the Ovens and Murray 18.6.114 to the Hampden League 10.6.66.

Yarrawonga key forward Brad O’Connor snared four goals for the O&M to match his skipper’s efforts and midfielder Joel Mackie (Albury) was also a standout along with Barlow and Doswell.

For the Hampden League, Tim Hunt (Warrnambool), half-back Jarrod Thompson (South Warrnambool) and wingman Sam Chapman (Camperdown) were among their side’s best.

The Ovens and Murray League will now meet the Mornington Peninsula League whilst Hampden will clash with the Sunraysia League in next year’s VCFL Country Championships competition.

About Shane Goss

I am currently working as an assistant manager at the Kilmore Racetrack as well as freelancing in the media as a photographer and writer. I have been heavily involved in the cycling media for the past ten years before taking on a full-time position at the racetrack. My passion for sport and especially football keeps me busy with projects on weekends.


  1. Hi, just curious how many Rutherglen-Corowa players lined up. Not having a great season, thouih i noticed they beat Wang recently.



  2. Hi Glen, Stehen Tiller was the only Corowa-Rutherglen player who played for O & M in the clash.

  3. RickyJay says

    Yep, Shane O and M is on the rise again

    The Oranges did not like being positioned down @ the No. 5 & 6 rankings and will be much happier @ number 4. They could knock off Morn. Peninsula in the 2013 series into the bargain.

    Pity about the crowd, but the venue not ideal for country footy.

    We had a gate of eight-and-a-half grand dollars at the Queen Elizabeth Oval where Bendigo beat Gippy and neighboring district league Heathote overcame early inaccuracy to down the Geelong DL in the curtain-raiser

    We’re pushing for another double header next year when old rivals Bendigo and Ballarat are slated to meet … Numbers 5 & 6 to clash in the main game, if we do get the double header

  4. Thanks Ricky, yeah O&M are looking to re-assert themselves as a force in country footy. Bendigo v Ballarat, now that’s one i would like to pencil in. I am hoping to get to a Bendigo League game before the year is out, depending on my VFL commitments. I sure would like to get to the QEO for a game to photograph. Beautiful ground that one.

  5. Rocket Nguyen says

    No mention of the Goulburn Valley League that beat the Mornington Peninsula League (made up of three competitions) to retain their #1 ranking for the third year in a row. The GVL saw off the O & M last year.

    The Hampden League flew by light plane to Narrandera in southern NSW to play the the South West League (now called the Riverina League) in 1964. They got a crowd of nearly 10, 000 and the match was televised. What the hell were the Hampden League doing playing at Princess Park!??

    BTW, the South-West won in 1964 – they put the O & M out in the semi final.

  6. Ta Shane,


    PS: Rocket, the 1964 clash @ Narrandera, who televised it?

  7. The 1964 VCFL championships were telecast by RTN 8 in Wagga and BTV 6 Ballarat..

    Southern NSW leagues were all in the VCFL back then – it took us until 1990 to get them into NSW.

    NSW is not totally a rugby league state – with Broken Hill – over a third is all mostly Australian football.

    What’s your view of the rankings system?

  8. RickyJay says

    Bendigo’s famous Blue and Golds belted South West at Narrandera in 1980, Comrade Rocket.

    Ron Best landed 8 or 9 and Victor Hugo (later cheering with the South Melb. Bloods, or had he ended with them — I forget) snared six snag rolls that day.

    We left Bendigo early on a Sat. morning, had a heart-starter or 2 in the Murchison pub, lunch in a border town on the NSW side, 2 or 3 kilometre walk along the highway after lunch and thence into the Riverina.

    The Blue and Golds had a run late Saturday on the ground upon which they’d flog the NSW boys the next day !!

  9. Yeah the Goulburn Valley League’s number one ranking is well deserved. The competition’s top-end is very good. I love going to Seymour’s Kings Park to watch a game. I think the idea of playing Ovens and Murray/Hampden League at Visy Park was to try and make it fair for both teams regarding travel/expenses. I reckon the games should be played at a ground from either competing league’s competition so as to get a crowd of some sort at least.The inter-league games are deserving of crowds. I like the rivalry between Victoria’s country footy regions and therefore like the rankings although there are a few.

  10. Rocket Nguyen says

    On ya Comrades!

    When I first started following the Goulburn Valley League, Murch was in the league as were their neighbours, Rushworth & Nagambie, and my original club, Stanhope. The football landscape sure has changed since then – no longer a Waranga North -East so Seymour, Euroa & Mansfield in the GVL along with Bendigo’s two finest-ever clubs, Echuca and Rochester- has made the GVL very strong.

    Ron Best was a terrific full-forward – one of the best I’ve seen in the bush – as was Victor Hugo – saw him kick 11.1 in the 2nd semi and then 11.2 in the GF against Ariah Park-Mirrool in 1980.

    Shane – guess you’ve seen Saad Saad kick a few at Kings Park? Old Dick O’Bree was a great old style full forward at Euroa – but probably before your time.
    Reckon there is stronger rivalry between the country leagues now – all the top players seem to play – maybe just the one inter-league match per year helps – plus the chance to play for Victorian Country? Rochy’s Guy Campbell always makes himself available.

    There you go Daff – managed to weave a Rochy bit into the comment…..

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