Enormous crowd turns out

The historic grandstand at the Kyneton Showgrounds overflowed with spectators.

An enormous crowd of close to 3000 people – far in excess of most optimistic expectations – descended on the Kyneton Showgrounds on Good Friday for the opening round matches in the Riddell District Football Netball League’s 2024 season.

Old, young, very young and middle-aged poured in to see Kyneton Football Netball Club make its debut in the RDFNL.

“The day was a massive success,” declared Kyneton club president Hayden Evans.

“The community has voted (in favour) with their attendance in regards to the move to the Riddell League.”

He said that …”the biggest crowd ever at the Showgrounds” … was quoted many times during the day by elderly locals who had been around the club for 60 or 70 years.

“It will be a day that is long remembered in the club’s history,” Evans concluded.

The historic grandstand overflowed. Cars were everywhere.

Woodend-Hesket supporters played their part in swelling the crowd, and a keen rivalry is on the way to being established between the two neighbouring clubs.

Some of the ‘old Tigers’ at the Showgrounds likened the crowd to the days when legendary Clive Philp (ex-Victoria and Hawthorn) was in charge at Tigerland.

Across the Kyneton club, black arm bands were worn in memory of valued members Brian Fleming, John Spurr and Dick West who had died since the 2023 season concluded.

“It was a great day for Kyneton, and for the league,” RDFNL netball and publicity manager, Grace Bibby, said afterwards.

“I’m really excited, not just for Kyneton, and this is a really good start to the 2024 season,” Bibby said.

Kyneton Tigers won the senior football match by 53 points against down-the-road rivals Woodend-Hesket, and the A-grade netball was a thriller with the Tigers prevailing 40-37 after several lead changes.

Macedon’s Under 19.5 footballers won a premiership last season, and opened proceedings by thrashing Kyneton by 91 points.

Kyneton Reserves won against the Hawks by seven points, and the four netball matches were split two-all.

Here’s a few comments from spectators:

“It was very impressive across the board with so many people there, and vindicates the Tigers’ decision to transfer from Bendigo to the Riddell League,” – Neil Organ.

“This is huge … just look at how many are here,” – Wayne Turner.

“I thought we should have stayed (in Bendigo), but this is a great day and I hope it continues,” – Norm Schmidt.

“It’s many, many years since I was here, and it’s a great day,” – Ian Shiner (former Kyneton premiership player who made the trip from Avenel).

The move to allow pedestrians to enter via Mollison Street, and cars and pedestrians via Beauchamp Street, appeared to be a winner.