Port Adelaide had extra 19 seconds in comeback vs Hawthorn, AFL responds to furore

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The AFL has given its public approval of the decision by an on-field umpire to crucially stop the clock for 19 seconds in the last quarter of Port Adelaide’s comeback win over Hawthorn.

The timekeeping incident subsequently may have indirectly given Port Adelaide time for a late golden goal that sunk Hawthorn hearts on Sunday evening.

With under eight minutes remaining in the last quarter, Port Adelaide trailed by 18 points before utility Darcy Byrne-Jones was awarded a free kick for head-high contact inside his forward 50.

The ball in question found its way out of the now-forward’s reach after the free kick was paid, which led to what was expected to be a very brief pause in play before he went back to take his shot on goal.

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Speaking on Fox Footy’s On The Couch, Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph broke down the remainder of the somewhat complex incident.

“When you concede those final two goals within 23 seconds, every second counts – but it turns out that maybe Port Adelaide got those extra 19 seconds they didn’t deserve,” Ralph opened by saying.

“He (Byrne-Jones) wins the high free-kick against Sam Frost, the ball spills (away from Byrne-Jones), and so the clock stops.

“Mitch Georgiades throws that ball back to him, which is when the clock should have (re) started – instead it freezes on 7:35.

“Only at the top of (Byrne-Jones’) mark does the umpire call time on again with his hand in the air.”

The 28-year-old ended up converting his goal, with his impact on the game far from done.

“The AFL says there’s no issue here, it is not a timekeeping error because that’s when the time on was called again – but speaking to former and current umpires, they say that he should not have had those 19 seconds,” Ralph added.

“In theory, you don’t get those 19 seconds, you don’t kick the other (final) goal.”

Ralph went on to highlight Willie Rioli’s crucial set shot inside the last minute of the game, where in a more time sensitive situation, the player taking the set shot had time restarted as soon as they were in line with the man on the mark with ball in hand.

“Hawthorn is aware of the incident, they know of course they did so many things wrong themselves, but in a season with so many fine margins, it’s probably one that got away again for Hawthorn.” Ralph continued.

“(There’s) nothing they can do now – it’s not an official error – but gee, those Hawthorn fans they would’ve loved that 20 seconds to be taken off the clock.”

On The Couch host Garry Lyon then asked Ralph if the AFL had ticked off the incident.

“Don’t tell me Ralphy, you’ve checked with the AFL and they’ve ticked off on it?” Lyon said tongue-in-cheek.

“They have ticked it off Garry, as they are very wont to do,” Ralph ended by saying.

The Hawks will strive for redemption this Sunday afternoon against Brisbane, while Port Adelaide fly down to Tasmania to play the winless North Melbourne.

Originally published as ‘Didn’t deserve’: Furore over 19 seconds that stung Hawthorn

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