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NETBALL FINAL RESULT IS “FINAL”
CAROLINE OVERINGTON
The Age

The result of the Adelaide Garville-Adelaide Contax Netball Superleague final will stand regardless of the outcome of yesterday’s appeal by Garville. The national executive director of the All Australian Netball Association, Pam Smith, said there was no way the score would change, even if Garville could prove it had been robbed of victory.

Smith said association rules did not provide for a review of match scores and video evidence could not be considered. “We will certainly view the video because I would like to see for myself what happened but Contax will remain champions, whatever happens,” Smith said.

Garville was beaten in overtime by three goals. The official score was 61-58. However, Garville believes it won by two goals. The electronic scoreboard changed from 42-40 in favor of Garville to 41-41 in the last quarter. Garville coach Pat Mickan watched a video of the final quarter and believes her team should have won. She said the team would consider legal action if Garville was not awarded the Prime Minister’s Cup.

“The system is unfair and undemocratic and we have to challenge a system which allows these things to happen. We can show the AANA the video, we can count the number of goals we scored, show them the scorecard is wrong.”

Smith said video evidence would not be considered because it “opened up a whole range of different problems”. “We can’t have teams looking at the videos are saying: Oh, that wasn’t a goal’ or That was a goal we didn’t get.’ The debate would never end,” she said.

But Mickan said the battle was not over an umpire’s decision: “We would never criticise an umpire because umpiring is always subjective. You expect, when you go into a game, that the umpire will make decisions with which you don’t agree. However, we do not accept that a game should be decided on the human error of a scorekeeper.”

Netball scores are recorded by an official scorekeeper, who is aided by a “caller” who calls out goals as they are scored. Mistakes can happen when the caller gives incorrect information, or looks away from the match for a moment and misses a goal. Similarly, the scorekeeper could record a Contax goal as a Garville goal or vice versa.

Contax coach Margaret Angove said it would be a sad day for netball if Garville took the matter to court. “You can’t change the score now. We believe we won fairly and within the rules and that is all that matters.”

Angove said the team would not hand victory to Garville even if video evidence proved Garville had won. “If we had been two goals down, we would have played differently. We would not consider a replay either. It’s like a bad umpiring decision: you just have to wear it.”

You decide: The ABC will screen 60 of the 74 minutes of the controversial Garville-Contax Superleague grand final from 5pm on Saturday.

THE Melbourne Keas, Victoria’s sole representative in the Superleague, will protest against the decision not to allow a second Melbourne team to compete. Keas co-coach Leanne Mackie said a second team should be allowed because Melbourne had done well to finish third. “It’s crazy to have two teams from Sydney when one of them came fourth and the other didn’t even make the finals series,” Mackie said.