An extremely rare event occurred at 4pm on Sunday, the crowd around the umpires race in the Essendon v WCE game stood and applauded the umpires as they left the field. Shaun Ryan and Simon Meredith looked bemused, Eleni took it in and enjoyed the experience. The football public had spoken. They understood better than most, the enormity of what had just occurred.
Sam Mitchell, who has a love hate relationship with umpires turned early in the first quarter to bemoan the fact he was not awarded a free for a marking contest interference he thought he deserved. When he realised it was Eleni who was in charge of the passage of play, he stopped gesticulating and ran past her straight to Shaun Ryan and started again. By then the game had moved on.
There were some great photos taken in the race after the game with Ryan and Meredith congratulating Eleni. It was Shaun Ryan who instigated ‘hug an ump” many years ago. The photos were published in Monday’s Herald Sun.
It was the SA umps turn to infiltrate Melbourne games on the weekend with our China contingent given the weekend to freshen up. Mark Thomson and Chris Bull went to the MCG on Saturday night. Matthew Konetschka maintained the SA connection with Eleni at Etihad yesterday along with Dan Field-Read from NSW. Corey Watkins and Sean Burton stood up in the St Kilda v Sydney game on Saturday at Etihad Stadium. It was Corey’s first game outside Adelaide.
Congratulations to our other two milestones this weekend. Ray Chamberlain, 250 games including 19 finals and 2 grand finals. Ray sits 33rd on the all time games ladder for field umpires. Ray who has had his fair share of injuries over the 14 years of his career should be closing in on 300 rather than just passing 250. Jeff Dalgleish umpired his 150th game in the same game at Subiaco Oval. Jeff’s games total includes 5 finals and 1 grand final.
Goal umpire Alistair Meldrum was in amongst the action again on the weekend when he was contacted by a Brisbane player trying to stop an Adelaide goal. Alistair took a tumble turn, got to his feet, stepped to the goal line with his now renowned smile and signalled another goal. It was the second time this season Alistair has taken a hit for the team.
Our Fiona McBurney Match Day Experience travelled to Perth this weekend. Fiona and Darryl Sinclair hosted Brent Goodall. A big thank you to our trainers, Alyce Newman and Tayla Lewis for making Brent’s night such a good one. I’m sure the smile never left his face! (See Brent’s night in pictures later in the week)
Pictured: 150 gamer – Jeff Dalgleish
Pictured: 250 gamer – Ray Chamberlain