A TEENAGE footballer finished the Cobden-Port Fairy under 18½ match on Saturday in a neck brace, an injury which prompted officials to call the match off early.
The young Seagull received contact while kicking the ball in the fourth quarter of the match at Cobden Recreation Reserve.
The incident happened approaching time-on in the last quarter, with Cobden leading 10.11 (71) to 2.5 (17). Port Fairy coach Paul Farley approached the umpires and his Cobden counterpart Damon Delaney about ending the match early, to which they agreed.
The player spent time in Warrnambool Base Hospital on Saturday but doctors released him from hospital that day.
The Standard is unsure whether Port Fairy will pursue the matter further.
Farley would not comment while calls to club president Mick Wolfe went unreturned.
Delaney said he did not see the incident but believed there was no malice in it.
“I did speak to the umpires after the game and the one that was in control said he saw it and he didn’t pay a free kick and play continued down the ground,” he said.
Hampden league chief executive officer Mike Farrow said he supported the decision to end the match early.
“I’ve spoken to the umpire on the day and I also spoke to the Port Fairy coach and I fully endorse what they did,” he said.
“For a game that only had a couple of minutes to run before time-on, they felt it was the right thing to do to stop the game so it didn’t go any further.”
Farrow said Cobden officials had made contact with their Port Fairy counterparts to find out about the teenager’s well-being.
“They did the right thing by doing that,” he said.
The neck injury provided a hollow end to a drama-filled fourth quarter.
In an unrelated incident also in the last term, umpire Malcolm Clapp reported a Cobden junior for striking a Port Fairy opponent.
The young Bomber has accepted the one-week penalty, which received endorsement from the Seagulls.
Two other players — one from either side — also received yellow cards in the last term as a result of a push-and-shove.