THE Goulburn Valley League had a point to prove on Saturday.
Some around the football public believed the quality of the competition was diminishing.
Try telling that to the players.
They went out against Ballarat FNL and the point was proved with a come-from-behind win.
And now the league has been justly rewarded.
The GVL has jumped three spots in AFL Victoria’s championship rankings.
It entered this year’s interleague ranked ninth.
It will enter 2019 ranked sixth.
AFL Goulburn Murray Region general manager Martin Gleeson said it was a fantastic result for the region.
‘‘It’s great to see the GV getting this kind of result,’’ he said.
‘‘The GV have been pretty stiff in the last couple of years by having two very close losses, but such is the nature of the rankings that a few points can see you down the rankings pretty quickly.
‘‘They played a great game on Saturday, so we’re very happy that they got the reward for their hard work.’’
Gleeson said he was proud that the competition wanted to prove a point.
‘‘The GV has a really strong history, especially in interleague,’’ he said.
‘‘Any conversation about standard dropping away is hard to judge, but we’re glad that our players have taken that on board and wanted to stand up for the league, and they did exactly that.’’
Opponent Ballarat has slipped from eighth to ninth.
As a result of its loss to Gippsland, the Murray League drops from 14th to 15th.
As a reward for its win, Gippsland jumps to 12th.
Gleeson said the gravity of Murray’s task should not be lost in the result. ‘‘It’s a massive journey to go to Gippsland,’’ he said. ‘‘It takes a huge toll on the players, but that doesn’t change the fact that we were soundly beaten.’’
The HDFNL has remained in 21st spot after its loss to the Geelong and District league.