After several years of campaigning from North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs, a stand alone Good Friday fixture finally arrived yesterday.

The game itself was a thriller, with the reigning premiers winning by just three points.

A portion of the money from each ticket sold went to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, adding to the long standing tradition of the appeal.

Over 42,000 fans attended the match and perhaps, most importantly for the AFL, which said it would review the success of the event for the future, the match had a peak audience of 1.064 million on free-to-air television, with an average of 677,000 viewers.

Fox Footy recorded a peak audience of 323,000.

The Good Friday Appeal also raised a record $17.6 million.

Prior to the match on Friday, League CEO Gillon McLachlan, said the future of the match and whether the same two teams played every year, depended on several factors.

“Everyone reads into what you say but you can never say anything is permanent or whatever. I think the big thing was making the decision to play and from there I think it’s hard to turn back. But we have to make it a success,” he said.

“We have to have a positive impact on the appeal. We, obviously, need a crowd and we need the thing to rate in a broader sense for our partners.

“I know that the Kangaroos and Bulldogs have put in a hell of a lot of work and worked with all the parties. I think, generally, when you do the things for the right seasons and you put in the work, things work out.”