Parkinson pulls plug on playing career

BEN Parkinson called time on his decorated football career in the days leading into the Warrnambool and District league qualifying final.

The Dennington coach revealed post-match he was nursing a broken jaw, suffered during the Dogs’ round 18 win against South Rovers at Walter Oval.

The injury, confirmed by a scan at Geelong on Wednesday, means he will have no on-field role as the side seeks to end a 26-year flag drought.

Parkinson said he was injured attempting a spoil. His Lions opponent jumped for a mark, smashing his head into Parkinson’s chin.

“I’ve avoided surgery, just, but any further knock would create a fair few problems. Where the crack is, it’d be quite a major operation,” he said.

“Once that was explained to me, it sunk in (that the career was over).

“I was pretty gutted over it actually. I was starting to feel pretty good, was recovering well from games and was getting my hands on the footy.”

Meanwhile, WDFNL finals action heads to Noorat Recreation Reserve and Merrivale Recreation Reserve this weekend.

The league yesterday confirmed the grounds it would use for week two of the post-season, with the second semi-final on Sunday at Noorat.

Minor premier Panmure takes on in-form Merrivale in the senior football, while unbeaten Old Collegians meets Dennington in the A grade netball.

The first semi-final on Sunday will be at Merrivale. The decision comes after a bumper crowd packed the ground for elimination final day.

Dennington faces Old Collegians in the senior football and Panmure plays Kolora-Noorat in the A grade netball.

League officials were considering using Friendly Societies’ Park for the first semi-final, the home of Hampden league club South Warrnambool. But the strong crowd last Sunday, more viewing areas for fans watching in cars and players’ preference meant Merrivale became their first choice.

Discovering they would not have access to the electronic scoreboard at Friendly Societies’ Park — due to no operator being available —made the decision easy.

n Port Fairy’s Gardens Oval has earned hosting rights for Hampden league junior grand final day on Sunday.

The action starts at 11am with the under 12 football grand final between Hawks and Warrnambool. The same clubs meet in the under 14 decider at 12.15pm.

North Warrnambool Eagles and Cobden meet in the under 16 grand final at 2pm.

The Bombers conjured a stunning fightback to win the preliminary final against South Warrnambool on Sunday, having trailed by 18 points at three-quarter-time.

The three netball matches — 12 and under, 14 and under and 16 and under — are South Warrnambool-Warrnambool affairs, from 11am.


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