North Melbourne beat Fremantle by a point after controversial finish
Fremantle’s pleas for a shot after the final whistle fell on deaf ears as North Melbourne clinched a pulsing one-point AFL victory at Optus Stadium.
The Kangaroos looked home after Luke Davies-Uniacke scored a 50-yard goal on the run to give the visitors a 20-point lead with less than seven minutes remaining in Saturday’s game.
WATCH VIDEO ABOVE: Crazy finish as North Melbourne go up by a point
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But two quick goals for Jaeger O’Meara and a major for defender Brennan Cox after a goal-line dispute cut the lead to a point with less than two minutes to go, sending the 40,487 crowd into a frenzy.
The ball stayed in Fremantle’s front 50m for most of the rest of the game, and Dockers players called for a free-kick for an intentional miss after a clearing kick went out about 49m from goal.
The siren sounded as the ball crossed the line, with the ref calling full-time and the Kangaroos clinging to a dramatic 11.7 (73) to 10.12 (72) win.
Channel 7 commentator Cameron Ling had no doubt as to what the decision should have been.
“I think Fremantle should get a free-kick, in my opinion. They should have had the opportunity,” he said.
“For me, it’s a conscious act. Inadequate attempt to keep ball in play before siren stops.”
Social media erupted at the final siren, with many fans believing the Dockers had been robbed.
Fans and pundits quickly went to the rule book, but there was still conjecture as to what the decision should have been.
The referee may sound for a free kick if he believes there has been a leak while the final siren is sounding.
But it also noted that the referee cannot count “insufficient intention” until the boundary referee signals the ball has gone out of bounds.
The AFL is expected to clarify the verdict surrounding the dramatic ending.
FULL GAME COVERAGE: All the stats from Optus Stadium
The result gave North Melbourne a perfect 2-0 start under new manager Alastair Clarkson and capped a week of further controversy over Tarryn Thomas, who was indefinitely sacked after further allegations of inappropriate behavior towards women emerged.
Kangaroos forward Nick Larkey has scored four goals after scoring six last week, while former Docker Griffin Logue was a rock in defense against esteemed Dockers recruits Luke Jackson and Matt Taberner.
Rising Kangaroos star Harry Sheezel continued his hot start to his AFL career with 30 departures while Davies-Uniacke amassed 11 clearances from his 30 holdings.
– With 7NEWS
https://7news.com.au/sport/afl/north-melbourne-pip-fremantle-by-one-point-after-controversial-finish-c-10152857 North Melbourne beat Fremantle by a point after controversial finish