This week-end, Wangaratta were scheduled to be meeting Wang. Rovers in what would have been a much-hyped O & M Round 15 at the W.J.Findlay Oval. Guest blogger Simone Kerwin laments the absence of ‘The Local Derby’………

I thought I heard a whisper carried on the breeze
As I wandered past those dual fields of play.
I’m sure it was a whisper…it can’t have been the trees,
As it echoed my thoughts on a winter Saturday.

It spoke of generations past, and all that they had meant,
Of mateship, rivals, battles, triumph, losses they had dealt;
Of pies, thermos, convivial beers, and crowds that came and went;
And those who tended needs to honour passion deeply felt.

For while this flurry of action should now be at full tilt,
A global shift had brought a halt to the usual reverie.
So it came as no surprise, expressed in that breeze-carried lilt,
That the quiet now descended sparked melancholy.

Of communities now separated by length of arm
And masked to stem an evil, rampant disease,
To keep the vulnerable – and all – safe from harm
While they did their best to heed their leaders’ pleas.

I walked a lap of both ovals and offered a listening ear
To the second homes adored by the sporting swell.
Then I whispered back, by way of assuaging any fear,
Assuring the surrounds all one day soon would be well.

They will come, as a wise scribe once famously said,
As they have in this sporting city’s decades past,
To worship ’round the turf their heroes will again tread.
And toil to hoist that flag atop the mast.

Then a ray of sun splashed across my walking path,
A light that could indeed have been the land’s reply,
With gratitude for wishes and prayers I’d heard and held.
Until we meet again, it said, and settled down to lie

As leaves tumbled across the grass in place of the ball,
The winter breeze lamented the absence of the game,
And pondered when it might return with all connected thrall
To bring some smiles and somehow ease the pain

In a strange kind of hibernation, heartened by the hope
Instilled by someone harbouring a dream
That ‘one day soon’ is not far along the slippery slope
On these days of uncertainty it can sometimes seem.

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