Photo and text by Paul Daffey
The photo was taken during the Leitchville-Gunbower v Lockington-Bamawm United match in Round 4 of the Heathcote and District Football League’s 2019 season.
The Gunbower Football Club was formed in 1893. The Leitchville Football Club was formed in 1919, when the train line was built through Leitchville to Cohuna.
On the day of this game, there was a function to celebrate the centenary of the Leitchville Football Club. About 250 past players and officials attended the function, which was held after the senior match in a large tent by the oval.
Leitchville and Gunbower were fierce rivals in the Northern District league, then the Northern and Echuca league, before the two clubs merged in 1995. Since then, the merged club has played in the Northern Central league and the Central Murray league before finally settling in the Heathcote and District league, where it has been happy and healthy for a decade. The club continues to play at both grounds, in Leitchville and Gunbower.
The scoreboard attendants are Jordyn Court (left) and Walter Kervin, who had both played in Leitchville-Gunbower’s easy victory in the under-14s match that morning. The Kervin family has been a prominent family in Leitchville footy for generations.
From 2015 to 2018, Leitchville-Gunbower played in four senior grand finals in a row, all against North Bendigo, and won the final two of those four games. In 2019, they have lost players and dropped down the ladder.
Lockington-Bamawam confirmed their position on top of the ladder by defeating the host club by 16 points, 8.9 (57) to 6.5 (41) — a low scoreline on a mild day with no wind.