A division one grand final rematch highlights the opening day of next month’s Bendigo Bank Country Week championships.
Murray Valley will lock horns with Ferntree Gully at the QEO on Monday, January 21.
Valley won last year’s title by 69 runs at Eaglehawk’s Canterbury Park, becoming the first team since Rochester in 1965 to win four titles in a row.
The grand final rematch will be the only division one game in Bendigo on day one of the championships, with newly-promoted Benalla facing Goulburn Murray at Rochester and Castlemaine hosting last championships’ division two winners Gisborne.
The division one grand final will be played at the QEO on Friday, January 25.
Meanwhile, Swan Hill starts its campaign in division two against Northern District at Canterbury Park after claiming the division three title last time.
Division three’s beaten grand finalists Deniliquin play Emu Valley at Strathfieldsaye and Grampians take on Portland at Bell Oval, Strathdale.
The division two final will be played at Canterbury Park.
Only one division three match will hosted in Bendigo, at Atkins Street Reserve, between Red Cliffs and Grassmere on the opening day.
Goulburn Murray will face Northern District at Rochester, while Maryborough hosts Northern United.
The grand final will be played at Bell Oval.