Reply To: ESSO/MOBIL SUPERLEAGUE 1985-1996

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Ian Harkin
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GARVILLE WAS ROBBED OF TITLE – IT’S OFFICIAL
CAROLINE OVERINGTON
The Age

Adelaide Garville was robbed of victory in the netball Superleague grand final last Saturday by a scorekeeper’s error. The official score was 61-58 in favor of Adelaide Contax but should have been 48-46 in favor of Garville. The All Australian Netball Association admitted the error yesterday.

Executive director Pam Smith said the incorrect result would stand and Contax would keep the Prime Minister’s Cup. “It’s pointless trying to make amends now and we don’t have the mechanics to do it,” Smith said. We have to go by the official scorecard even if it was wrong. We will now look at ways of making sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Smith said the mistake had been made in the third quarter. The electronic scoreboard, which changed from 42-40 in favor of Garville to 41-all in the final quarter, had been correct. The game ended with an official 47-47 draw, although the correct score was 48-46. Contax won in overtime.

Garville coach Pat Mickan said yesterday that players were unlikely to let the matter rest because the team wanted the Prime Minister’s Cup. “We are still considering court action, not because we want to punish Contax but because the system is wrong and should be changed,” she said. “If we take it to court, we would have to prove that all the safety checks or scoring checks were not in place and I think we can easily do that since there was only one scorer, who was wrong.”

Contax coach Margaret Angove said both teams must accept the official result or risk damaging the game of netball. “We played to the official score,” she said. “If we had believed we were two goals down, we would have played a different game, as Garville would have. We would have taken more risks and perhaps gone on to win.

“We should remember that neither Garville nor Contax made a mistake. It was an error in the system. What is really sad is that Contax have been robbed of the pleasure and excitement of winning a national netball final. Our players have even been abused. It would be nice if people remembered we played wonderful netball, but nobody is saying that.”

Smith said Contax and Garville players were upset by the outcome. “Garville know they technically should have won and there is nothing they can do about that,” she said. “Also, Contax feel they have been robbed of victory because the scorecard has them as the official winners.”

The ABC, which will edit the 74-minute game into a 60-minute program, will show the third and fourth quarters in full.