Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Match called off after injury to Ford

Heathcote coach Grant Ford knew something was not right when he lay on Elmore Recreation Reserve with his head in the trainer’s hands and his parents and girlfriend looking down in concern.

ZACH HUBBER April 9, 2014 3:10am

Jack Paisley moves the ball forward for Heathcote during the club’s first round match against Elmore on Saturday. Photo: Jocelyn Russell

Heathcote’s match against Elmore on Saturday was abandoned in the second quarter after Saints coach Grant Ford suffered a suspected neck injury.

Due to the Heathcote and District Football League match being delayed for more than 30 minutes before half-time it was called off under the laws of the game, resulting in a draw.

Grant was discharged from Bendigo base hospital on Sunday morning with minor concussion after arriving by ambulance on Saturday.

Playing at Elmore Recreation Reserve, Ford was crawling after the ball when his head collided with the knee of an Elmore player early in the second term.

The Saints led Elmore 6.4(40) to 2.1(13) at the time of Ford’s injury.

Bloods coach Steve Arthur said in his 30 years of senior football he had never been involved in a situation like the one on Saturday.

He said members and players from both clubs and the umpires responded well to the incident.

The Saints led by 20 points at quarter-time without the services of their captain Joel Condon and centre-half forward James Carroll.

Ford, who remembers the first quarter, said Heathcote started slowly.

‘‘It was the first game, so there were the usual cobwebs and nerves,’’ he said.

‘‘Once everyone calmed down and stopped panicking they started to believe in their football and each other.’’

Josh Illarietti threatened to have a big impact after finishing the day with three goals.

Despite the lack of match play, Ford was excited to host reigning premier Lockington-Bamawm United in round two on Saturday.

‘‘You never know with Locky, but they’re always super hard to play,’’ Ford said.

‘‘There are so many talented blokes and youngsters in that side.

‘‘(Ady) Dohnt would have that team extremely fit for their title defence yet again.

‘‘We really want to put the pressure to them. If we can do it this week then later down the track we’ll know we can push them.’’

Ford will miss at least the next three rounds.

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