In 1964, Heywood was a foundation member of the Western Border Football League, having in 1963 contested the last ever Western District Football League grand final. The Lions lost that 1963 grand final to Casterton, and they went on to lose the first two WBFL grand finals as well. In 1964 they went down to North Gambier by 19 points, while the following year it was East Gambier who emerged victorious by a 9 point margin. Heywood maintained continual involvement in the WBFL, without qualifying for any further senior grade grand finals, until 2011. The following season saw them transferring to the less demanding environs of the South West District Football League where they promptly enjoyed long overdue premiership success, downing Westerns in the grand final by 40 points, 18.9 (117) to 11.11 (77). This was the first of four successive grand final appearances for the Lions who lost in 2013 to former WBFL compatriots Coleraine and in 2014 to Dartmoor before returning to the winners' rostrum in 2015 with an 8.17 (65) to 5.12 (42) defeat of Tyrendarra. After that the 2016 season was somewhat disappointing as the Lions bowed out of the finals race at the first hurdle against Cavendish. That said, there was a sense in which the 2017 season was even more disappointing as after winning all 16 home and away matches plus the second semi final the Lions somehow contrived to lose to Dartmoor in the one encounter which matters above all others. The match was closely fought, but Dartmoor always seemed to have the edge, and they ultimately prevailed by a single straight kick, 12.13 (85) to 11.13 (79). A year later the Lions made amends when they conclusively accounted for Heathmere on grand final day with scores of 11.18 (84) to 8.6 (54).
John Devaney - Full Points Publications