CHFL assesses video of football match melee

CENTRAL Highlands Football League is deciding how to proceed with its investigation into Saturday’s abandoned clash between Hepburn and Beaufort after reviewing footage of the match yesterday.

League administrator Diane Ryan told The Courier that the video tape had been acquired from the Hepburn camp, which recorded the game that was called off because of a rolling melee in the final quarter.

The Burras were awarded the match as they led by 89 points when umpires stopped play.

Ryan said no reports were made from the encounter and that both clubs had been disappointed with what had taken place. 

Meanwhile, Beaufort president Michael O’Connor hit out at comments made by Burras’ coach Clive Raak in yesterday’s edition of The Courier. 

Raak targeted Crows recruit and Carlton premiership player Glenn Manton, questioning why he was not reported for his involvement in the melee.

“To see what he (Manton) did was very, very poor. I can’t be any more frank than that,” Raak said after the match.

O’Connor believed Raak’s comments were out of line.

“We are not very happy with the way the Hepburn coach has come out in the media, in print and on radio. I don’t think that’s going to help the situation at all,” O’Connor said.

“There is a league investigation under way and I think the less said by either club publicly the easier it will be for that investigation to be more effective.”

Former Beaufort coach Phil Crouch, who was at the match as a supporter of the club, felt the need to defend the Crows.

“I think it is a pretty ordinary act from a senior coach to make comments about an opposition player in this way. He needs to have a good think about the way he conducts himself and think carefully before he makes public comments, especially if they are proven to be totally inaccurate,” Crouch said.

“I would expect he would now be regretting those comments and a retraction and apology would be forthcoming.”

Crouch said that Beaufort was a well-respected club within the Central Highlands.

“The reputation of the Beaufort Football Netball Club as being a fair, community-minded and inclusive club is known throughout the league. I know that the club is very proud of all of its football and netball players for the way they play their sport in the right spirit,” he said.

Crouch said the Burras were also well regarded in league circles.

“They have worked really hard to achieve success. They play a good brand of footy and have been a benchmark of the league for many years now,” he said.

Hepburn president Jason Dooley rejected any claims that Burras star Andy McKay failed to leave the field when shown a yellow card in the final term.

“We are happy for the investigation to take place and we make no comment until it has run its course,” Dooley said.

tim.oconnor@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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