When the football is one sided and umpiring goes unnoticed it would be tough to make changes going into the penultimate round of finals of 2017. So spare a thought for Brendan Hosking and Ray Chamberlain who might be in the unenviable position of having to sit as emergency umpires through two weekends of finals.
It appears that Nathan Doig, Matthew Konetschka, Rob Haala and Chris Gordon have gone through to the preliminary final weekend as the highest ranked boundaries which meant the boundary umpires running in the semi finals weekend just gone are fighting for four spots in the runoff for the GF.
Damien Cusack was put in a very tough predicament on week one of the finals when he umpired in Pt Adelaide 3 days after his mother passed away and ran again this weekend 3 days after her funeral. The umpiring fraternity is with you Damien during this time.
Second year goal umpire Matthew Dervan has had a great year, umpiring his second final at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night. Only Brodie Kenny-Bell and Angus McKenzie-Wills, who made finals in their first year, have performed better in the past 40 years.
Luke Walker broke the all-time finals appearances for goal umpires (35) when he took to the field on Friday night. Brett Rosebury equaled the highest number of finals appearances on Friday night making it 39 which ranks him with Hayden Kennedy and John Elder. John who is a member of the AFLUA team of the century, umpired between 1906 and 1922 accumulating 297 games including 39 finals and 10 grand finals. He is also a member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
Veteran AFLUA historian, David Flegg is also carving a finals niche for himself making it two finals in a row as an AFL timekeeper. Could another GF be in the offing for David?
What does Melbourne look like on Friday pre grand final if GWS plays Adelaide? Adelaide supporters have a great history of traveling in their thousands but GWS couldn’t even muster a home and away crowd on Saturday night with a little over 14,000 in attendance.
Harry Beitzel’s memorial service was held at the MCG on Monday. It was good to see a strong umpiring presence in attendance to farewell Harry including Alan Ardvison who umpired 6 VFL matches in 1955/56. His service concluded with the mourners blowing a whistle that they were all given, putting their hands in the air and yelling “game over!” Kevin Sheedy was the MC, Bob Skilton, Tim Lane and Peter Howe presented eulogies and singer song writer Mike Brady performed on behalf of the Beitzel family.