Mudgee in tight spot over Group 10 draw

MUDGEE Dragons will be hoping for a few changes to the proposed 2014 Group 10 draw after a drafted copy was released last month minus the Blackheath Blackcats who have been controversially left out.

The Dragons are set to open their 2014 Group 10 campaign at home against Blayney when the first round kicks off on April 6.

They then travel to play arch-rivals Lithgow at Tony Luchetti Sportsground in round two before the competition breaks for Easter.

But their third round match against Bathurst Panthers poses a huge problem as it is set down to be played at Glen Willow on Sunday, April 27.

The problem is the Trans-Tasman Touch Football Series is slated to be played at Glen Willow from April 25 to 27.

Mudgee told Group 10 of the situation at the annual general meeting in November and hoped to have the bye at that time.

However they have been scheduled to play Panthers at home.

The Dragons are hoping the Group changes the draw to accommodate the situation.

There are three options for the Dragons and the Group.

Firstly, the Dragons and Panthers could swap home games. Instead of playing at Glen Willow in round three, the match is played at Carrington Park.

However, this puts the Dragons at an early disadvantage as they would only play at home once in the first five weeks.

Secondly, when the Dragons have the bye in round nine, the Group could swap the entire round of matches with the third round games.

This is a problem as some of the other clubs may not support the idea.

The third and the best option would be for the Dragons and Orange Hawks to swap positions for rounds three and nine.

When the Dragons play Panthers in round three, Hawks have the bye. When the Hawks and Panthers play each other in round nine, the Dragons have the bye.

If the two teams changed positions, Hawks would play Panthers in round three and the Dragons have the bye, then Mudgee would play Panthers in round nine and Hawks have the bye.

All the options could be mirrored for the second half of the draw.

Mudgee have yet to speak with Group 10 and Hawks about the ideas, and have yet to hear back from Panthers about swapping home matches.

But the draw could remain as it is.

“Most clubs are happy with this draft, but you can’t please everyone,” Group 10 president Linore Zamparini told the Central Western Daily.

Zamparini said the draw had changed significantly because of ground availability and Blackheath being left out for various reasons.

“Most of the time we run a draw for two years at a time,” Zamparini said. “One year it will run as set, and then it will be reversed the next year. This draw is different to last year’s because some clubs, Mudgee were one, don’t have a ground available at the start of the season. 

“The actual draw should be confirmed in the next two weeks, hopefully by mid-January.”

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