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Former Docker first to 50 goals as ex-Port, Richmond player ends opposition winning streak


Plenty of off-field news swirling around country footy circles this week before the games even commenced.

In the Ovens and Murray FNL, after a subsequent investigation and tribunal held last Thursday night, a massive 10-week suspension was handed out to North Albury FNC’s Riley Smith for a behind-the-play incident that took place way back on ANZAC Day in the game against Albury FNC. He was found guilty of striking Albury FNC’s Josh Hudson and is also subsequently facing court for the same incident via an assault charge.

As identified earlier this year, the pending 2025 season merger of North Central FNL clubs Wycheproof-Narraport FNC and Nullawil FNC has now started to gain momentum with a committee created to start looking at important aspects of the process, such as possible names for the newly-merged club, what the club colours will be and where games will be played. They are aiming for an announcement in the second part of the season after club members vote on these important issues.

Also there was exciting news for this week when our site expanded to include integrated scoring for over 30 more country football leagues from all around Australia. This means there will be match reports and scores available for every country league around the country. So now there is even more news and stats to explore for everyone via our newly-updated match centres focusing on each state.

Onto this week’s on-field matters and after several consecutive weeks with huge winning margins around the state, this weekend saw a change of pace with 8 games being decided by a solitary point and 3 matches all tied up at the final siren.

In Div 1 of the MPNFNL, it was second last placed Mornington FNC almost causing a massive upset against third placed Sorrento FNC before both teams were unable to be separated on 15.11 101 apiece at the end of the game. While a draw was also the result in the top of the table match in the Kyabram and District FNL between Lancaster FNC and Murchison Toolamba FNC who both ended tied on 11.5 71. The draw meant Lancaster FNC preserved their current 17-game winning streak.

However, the same could not be said for Yarrawonga FNC in the Ovens and Murray FNL where their 16-game winning streak ended when they went down by a solitary point to long-standing rival Albury FNC, going down 6.11 47 to 6.10 46.

In another top of the table clash in the Ballarat FNL, former Freo Docker Brett Bewley’s Darley FNC had their 15-game undefeated run come to an end at the hands of new ladder leader Sunbury FNC, coached by former Port Adelaide and Richmond player Matt White. Across in the neighbouring Central Highlands FNL, Gordon FNC couldn’t improve on their 12-straight wins going down to the now undefeated Bungaree FNC.

As it stands at this point in the season, there are 13 sides currently enjoying double digit winning streaks, headlined by Marong FNC who have 39 straight, while 22 clubs are enduring double digit length losing runs with Maryborough FNC in the Bendigo FNL leading that group with 49 straight loses heading into next weekend.

Five forwards managed to snare a dozen goals in games this week, including last year's season leader, Alvie FNC’s Dominic Dare, against Western Eagles FNC. However, headlining this group is former Docker Josh Mellington for Bears Lagoon Serpentine FNC. After being yellow carded last week, Mellington was able to take the field on the weekend and snag 12 to make him the first Victorian senior country forward to pass 50 for the season. In a rich vein of form, Mellington has kicked double digit bags of goals in four of the six games so far this season.

He now sits atop the leaderboard on 57 for the season, 10 goals clear of Bright FNC’s Cooper Thomason in second place on 47. Murchison-Toolamba FNC’s James Lloyd sits in third place with 45, one ahead of a group of four, including Dare, who now have 44 so far this season. Next week could potentially see these eight players joining Mellington as part of the 50 goal club for 2024.

For all the latest in country footy, head to Country Footy Scores.

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