Sport

Grand plan sees Saints host final

By Southern Riverina News

Berrigan Football & Netball Club will host the 2019 Picola & District Football Netball League grand finals.

The announcement was made official with the PDFNL announcing the finals fixture for the next 13 years on Monday afternoon.

The news comes as works on new netball courts, which will be ready for use at the start of the 2019 home and away season, have begun recently.

Berrigan president Stuart Schifferle said the announcement was huge for the club.

‘‘I guess it was just our turn to host it,’’ he said.

‘‘With the league re-structuring we weren’t sure how it would affect things in regards to hosting the grand final but we’ve managed to retain it as planned.

‘‘It’s good for the club and good for the town of Berrigan.

‘‘It’s also a great opportunity for us to showcase the new netball courts.

‘‘Hopefully we can have a few teams playing home grand finals this season.’’

The finals fixture for 2019 will see five weeks of action starting with elimination finals at Blighty on Saturday, August 17, and Katamatite on Sunday, August 18.

The week following will see qualifying finals at Waaia (Saturday) and Picola (Sunday), with the semi finals to be held at Mathoura (Saturday) and Yarroweyah (Sunday) the week after that.

The preliminary finals will be held at Strathmerton (Saturday) and Deniliquin (Sunday) the week before the grand final, to be played on Saturday, September 14.

Over the next 13 years, every club in the league will have the opportunity to host a grand final.

The forward planning of finals is a continuation of the finals rotation system the PDFNL introduced at the completion of the 2012 season and took affect for the first time in 2013.

‘‘The introduction of the system to rotate finals amongst all clubs equally has been a remarkable success,’’ PDFNL operations manager Shane Railton said.

‘‘Since the introduction of the system it is estimated that approximately $6.5 million has been invested into football and netball facilities among the 13 communities which form the PDFNL.

‘‘All clubs have hosted a grand final within the past 10 years and there continues to be a healthy rivalry among clubs to improve facilities and the hosting of finals.

‘‘The forward planning and release of a future hosting draw, although still subject to regular league inspection and approval, provides clubs with a great opportunity to plan the funding and implementation of facility improvements.’’