K rock Football

Saints to be first to 500

St Mary’s is set to become the first to win 500 GFL matches. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

FOUNDATION club St Mary’s will become the first club to win 500 GFL senior matches in 2020.

The Saints, who along with Bell Park, Grovedale, Newtown & Chilwell, North Shore and St Albans, are the only clubs remaining from the original 12-team competition that started a new era of local football in 1979.

The reigning GFL premier has 498 wins from 801 matches. It faces grand final opponent Colac at Central Reserve and arch-rival St Joseph’s at Anthony Costa Oval in the opening two rounds.

St Mary’s sits 32 wins clear of Bell Park, which has accumulated 466 victories from 790 games, meaning the Round 10 clash with St Albans at The Gordon TAFE Oval will be the Dragons’ 800th GFL appearance.

The Saints first win came against Bell Park in the opening round of 1979 to the tune of 98 points.

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However, North Shore will beat the Dragons to becoming the second team to that mark, with the Round 6 meeting with Colac at Windsor Park the Seagulls’ 800th match in the GFL. They sit at 461 wins overall.

The Dragons will reach 800 games four weeks later.

In other GFL club milestones;

  • Grovedale requires four more wins for 300 victories.
  • Leopold’s first win of 2020 will be its 250th since entering the league in 1992.
  • South Barwon, which marks 30 years since the merger of Belmont and Barwon in 2020, will reach 600 matches in Round 14 against Newtown & Chilwell at Elderslie Reserve.
  • Lara, which joined the competition in 1989, will make its 600th GFL appearance in Round 17.

In the Bellarine league, if Torquay can replicate the 15 wins it had during 2019, the Tigers will become the first club to 600 victories in what is the competition’s 50th season.

One of the eight foundation clubs when the BFL started in 1971, Torquay sits on 585 wins from 947 matches.

Ocean Grove is the next best with 579 wins from 942 games.

Portarlington will become the second last of the remaining foundation clubs to play 900 games when it hosts Queenscliff in Round 15.

The BFL’s two “newest” clubs, Geelong Amateur and Modewarre will reach 500 and 450 matches respectively during 2020.

Ammos reaches its milestone in Round 8, while the Warriors’ chalk up 450 in Round 2.

In other potential BFL milestones;

  • Anglesea enters the season on 432 wins.
  • Drysdale sits on 537 wins from 930 games.

NB. Bellarine research is based on clubs not being credited for matches fixtured against St Leonards in 1991. Clubs were awarded a win when drawn to play the Saints after they withdrew from the competition after Round 1 of that season and joined the GDFL.

Twitter: @tom_king79