Tigers see the light

Nestled in Victoria’s high country about a one-and-a-half hour drive north of Melbourne is the town of Yea.It wasoriginally known as Muddy Creek settlement after the Yea River which was called Muddy Creek until 1878. The town was named after a Colonel Lacy Yea who was killed in the Crimean War.

In 1859 gold was discovered in the area. The town has a population of around 1,200 despite suffering through two severe floods in 1934 and 1973. No flooding however during round six of the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League Division 2 clash between the travelling Yarra Junction and the mighty Yea Tigers.The Eagles were third on the ladder but only a game and healthy percentage clear of Yea who were second last.

Conditions were near perfect at the Snodgrass Street oval. It’s a picturesque ground with one grandstand and an adjoining brick changerooms and function room. On the outer wing Autumn leaves were falling over the interchange benches, gracefully twisting and turning in flight, like former Melbourne wingman Robbie Flower would along the MCG wing.

The surface was in good nick. There had been a NAB Challenge match played there one year between Geelong and Richmond. One local estimated the crowd had been around five thousand that day. Not as many there for the Tigers Junction clash, but supporters of both clubs had turned out in expectation of a keenly contested match just the same.

As the teams ran onto the ground the aroma of hot pasties followed close behind them. Lifting up over the home-side’s ruckman and spreading across the flanks. By the time it had reached the four-wheel drives backed up to the fenceline the ball had been bounced and Yarra Junction were going forward.

With more marking options in the forward line and fast ball movement the Eagles shot out to an early lead. Yea failed to make the most of their opportunities in the second term missing easy goals whilst Yarra Junction made light work of theirs.
At half-time the margin was only eighteen points in the Eagle’s favour: 6.5.41 to 3.5.23.

In the second half more of the same from Yarra Junction as their height up forward was proving difficult to contain for the home side. Brad Charman and Dan Ryan had sticky fingers for most of the day while Alex Healy and Nathan Fall were finding plenty of the sherrin.

As the shadows stretched across the ground in the final term and the netballers polished off the cold drinks in the canteen. The Tigers approach to the contest lifted a notch. A couple of goals diverted some of the locals’ attention from searching for pullovers in the boot of their car as the conditions cooled.

But it was to no avail. Yarra Junction had set up a lead early and were never headed. Yea were gallant and never gave in. Their last quarter their best. Young Aaron Quigley providing the match highlight with a great pack mark late in the final quarter for the Tigers.

Final score: Yarra Junction 13.12.90 to Yea 8.6.54.

Pictures and text Shane Goss www.licoricegallery.com

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. John Butler says

    Great shots Shane.

    It looks like a gem of a ground.


  2. Cracker of an opening photo!

  3. johnharms says

    Tremendous stuff Shane.

  4. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rocket says

    Doesn’t look as though things have changed much for Yea…
    struggled for many years in the old Waranga North East League then then the Ky and District.

    Had a few cousins play there – so I’ve always taken an interest

  5. Paul Daffey says

    Nice one, Gossy.

    You can’t beat an old green grandstand.

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