The Northern Football Netball League has released the 2018 fixtures for its senior men’s competitions.
Please note: Updated on Wednesday March 7
The first ball will be bounced on Friday March 30 when Eltham hosts Diamond Creek at Eltham Central Park in a Good Friday blockbuster.
There will be a standalone opening round in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 the following weekend, with four matches to be played on Saturday April 7.
Panton Hill marks its return to third division when it hosts Mernda at Cracknell Reserve, while 2017 runner-up South Morang starts its campaign with a trip to Kilmore.
Elsewhere, St Mary’s hosts Heidelberg West at Whatmough Park, while Reservoir and Lalor meet at Crispe Park. Laurimar has a bye in Round 1.
The Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 season starts with a Friday night clash between Northcote Park and reigning premier Bundoora at Bill Lawry Oval on Friday April 13.
The remaining four matches of the opening round will be played on Saturday April 14.
North Heidelberg will unfurl its 2017 Division 2 premiership flag when it hosts Macleod at Shelley Reserve, while Greensborough and Montmorency meet in a huge clash at War Memorial Park.
Ben Frilay Oval and Whittlesea Showgrounds will also host games in Round 1, with Hurstbridge at home to West Preston-Lakeside, while Whittlesea hosts Heidelberg.
Four matches are also scheduled in A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 on Saturday April 14, with Eltham and Diamond Creek scheduled for two games in the opening round. The two clubs will have a bye in Round 13 as a result of their Good Friday fixture.
Banyule’s first step into second division commences at home, with the Bears to host Watsonia at R.J. Brockwell Oval.
Eltham is again at home when it hosts Eppinh, while Diamond Creek and Fitzroy Stars lock horns at Coventry Oval. Meanwhile, Lower Plenty and Thomastown meet in a clash of the Bears at Montmorency Park South Oval.
All three senior men’s competitions will have a bye on Saturday May 19 to coincide with the 2018 AFL Victoria Community Championships – where the NFNL will take on the Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League.
Two matches have been scheduled over the Queen’s Birthday weekend, with Macleod to host North Heidelberg at De Winton Park on Saturday June 9, while Heidelberg West and St Mary’s meet at Heidelberg Park on the same day.
All grand finals will again be played on Saturdays, commencing with the Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 decider on September 8.
The A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 grand final will be played on September 15, before the season concludes with the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 grand final on September 22 – again coinciding with the AFL’s preliminary final weekend.
Key features of the 2018 Northern Football Netball League senior men’s competitions include:
MEADOWS GREYHOUNDS DIVISION 1
• Round 1 played across two days, commencing with a Friday night match between Northcote Park and Bundoora at Bill Lawry Oval on April 13. The game will be a rematch of the 2017 preliminary final.
• North Heidelberg will unfurl its Division 2 premiership flag in Round 1 when it hosts Macleod. Bundoora will have to wait until Round 2 to raise its 2017 flag, doing so against Greensborough.
• Montmorency to play its first two home matches in the 4:10pm twilight timeslot. The Magpies host North Heidelberg in Round 2 and Bundoora in Round 3.
• Grand final replays between Bundoora and Macleod to be played in Round 7 at Yulong Reserve and Round 13 at De Winton Park.
• Hurstbridge and North Heidelberg to meet at Ben Frilay Oval in Round 6. The game will be the first outing between the two sides since the 2016 Division 2 grand final.
• Macleod to host North Heidelberg at De Winton Park on Saturday June 9 during the Queen’s Birthday weekend.
A PLUS LABOUR SOLUTIONS DIVISION 2
• Eltham and Diamond Creek to meet in a Good Friday season opener on March 30 at Eltham Central Park.
• Banyule to unfurl its premiership flag against Watsonia in Round 1.
• Fitzroy Stars to host Thomastown on Saturday July 14 during NAIDOC Week. The fixture will coincide with the league’s Indigenous Round.
• Lower Plenty to host Banyule for the Long Tan Cup in Round 18.
HEIDELBERG GOLF CLUB DIVISION 3
• Standalone opening round on Saturday April 7.
• Once again, every team to play 16 matches and have two byes over the 18-round fixture. Each club will play each opponent twice, with one match at home and one match away.
• Heidelberg West to host St Mary’s at Heidelberg Park on Saturday June 9 in a standalone game over the Queen’s Birthday weekend.
• Finals series to again start one week before the Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 and A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 finals. The finals series will commence with the second semi final on Saturday August 25.
To download the 2018 NFNL senior men’s fixtures, which include each club’s round-by-round fixture, please click on the links below.