Unique End Gives Melton South 1pt Win

August 09, 2011, 09:21 PM AEST


BY TEO PELLIZZERI – Melton & Moorabool Express Telegraph

MELTON South was a one-point winner against Melton after a controversial post-game decision by a goal umpire changed the result of the Ballarat Football League match.

A set shot in the dying seconds by Panther Rex Hickman was initially signalled a behind by the goal umpire, but it was overturned and a goal paid after the siren.

When the final siren went at Melton Recreation Reserve it was the Bloods in front.

Hickman had marked about 30 metres out and kicked for goal in the dying seconds. The umpire paid a behind to make the scores Melton South 15.9 (99) to Melton 14.19 (103).

The siren sounded as the ball was being retrieved for the Melton kick-in, and Bloods players were celebrating.

But Melton South players protested to the field umpire. He briefly consulted the goal umpire, who then paid a goal, changing the final score to 16.8 (104) to 14.19 (103) in the Panthers’ favour.

Operations manager Aaron Nunn said the league was concerned with the process used by the umpires to reach the final decision.

‘‘We’re confident that the correct result has followed [the decision] and we’re satisfied that the right result occurred,’’ Nunn said.

‘‘We have taken [the concerns] up with the umpires department.

‘‘We have a process with umpires co-ordinator Michael Hynes and he’ll be conducting an internal investigation into the matter.’’

Nunn said the league had spoken to Melton and there would be no protest lodged by the club. ‘‘They’re satisfied the right result was reached, but they, too, have concerns with the process.’’

THE controversial finish to Melton South’s one-point win against Melton took the focus off what was a vital win for the Panthers in the lead-up to Ballarat Football League finals.

Panthers coach Shane Geddes described the win as hollow, as his side was nearly upset by the two-win, 10th-placed Bloods.

Melton South led by four goals in the third quarter and 16 points in the third only to be reeled in both times by Melton.

The win guaranteed finals for fifth-placed Melton South, who play North Ballarat City and then have the bye in the final two weeks of home and away.

The Bloods kicked inaccurately, too, scoring 4.6 to Melton South’s 5.3 in the final term.

‘‘The guys sang the song, then got read a few home truths,’’ Geddes said.

‘‘Our stats said Melton won the clearances, and one thing that I was really critical of our guys was tackles and missed tackles. It was a poor effort on our behalf.’’

Mathew Sutton kicked six goals for Melton South, while Matt Sullivan was the Panthers’ best and kicked four goals.

‘‘We knew Melton would come out and treat it like their mini-grand final, but we knew potentially if we lost it could cost us a finals place,’’ Geddes said.

‘‘It should mean just as much to us as it did to them.’’

Melton coach Mark Raak said his players felt robbed at the end to the match, but had also wasted opportunities after having nine more scoring shots.

‘‘I can think of four (set shots) that were 20m out that we should have nailed,’’ he said.

‘‘We played one man short (Billy Dixon sent off) for 15minutes in the first quarter but there was still only 10 or 11 points in it. We seemed to have a bit more run and carry.

‘‘It felt like the game was ours, but our senior footballers realise it shouldn’t have come down to the last play of the day.’’

Melton’s leading goalkickers were Ash Webber with five and Andrew Heyde with four, while other better players were Saul Grenfell, Andrew Hunter, Allan Hill and Andrew Bartlett.

Major Sponsors
Ballarat Leagues Club