Fuming Ghosts snatch draw
SOMEONE forgot to tell the referee the main attraction at Stan Payne Oval on Saturday night was in fact the two teams with the football.
The game between the Grafton Ghosts and Evans Head was marred by the referee's over-use of the whistle resulting in a stop-start-affair.
In the end the Ghosts came from behind to snatch a thrilling 10-all draw against the Bombers, but all the talk after the game was centred on the performance of the man in the middle.
Ghosts coach Col Speed praised his side for their courageous effort against adversity, and said he will be having a close look at the video of the match after star back-rower Ben McLennan was concussed after receiving an alleged king hit from a Bombers winger.
“I'll certainly be having a look at the DVD to see if there is a case to answer,” Speed told the Examiner yesterday.
“I didn't see the incident so I can't comment at this stage, but Benny left the field concussed and took no further part in the game.”
Speed also revealed two other Ghosts players were given their marching orders by the referee which, according to their coach, was perplexing to say the least.
“We had Khan (Williams) sent off for 10 minutes and Rhys Walters also received 10,” a bewildered Speed said.
“I'll go to Khan's defence and say he shouldn't have been sent, and Rhys was given time for retaliating after receiving a late shot to the head.
“It's hard to work out. We get two guys sent to the bin and their player knocks a guy out and only gets penalised.”
The Ghosts, who still remain undefeated, appeared down after the game according to Speed, who described his team's effort as a ‘gutsy' performance.
“We had to defend with 11 men at one stage, and had two players off injured,” Speed said.
“I thought it was a courageous effort by the boys, and a gutsy effort under the circumstances.
“Adam Elliott also pulled out of the game due to an illness and there was no Aaron Hartmann.
“We were down 10-4 and came back.
"Evans are no mugs and they'll be up there at the end of the season.”
The Ghosts' English signing George Ambler had his first taste of the top grade on Saturday and, according to Speed, didn't disappoint.
“George, our Pommy back-rower, made his debut and didn't look out of place,” Speed said.
“He played very well, as did Adam Jurd and Mitchell Wicks who were very good up the middle.
“Unfortunately for the spectators there were a lot of stoppages.
"You could have added at least another 10-minutes on each half.”
Ghosts captain Ryan Farrell agreed with his coach, saying the game was not ideal for spectators or the players.
“He (the referee) ruined what could have been a good game,” Farrell said.
“He's only young and it's the first time we've had him.
"I think he may have overused the whistle.
“And as far as Benny's incident, I'm not sure why the guy wasn't sent.
"Ben was marking him and he just got up, played the ball, and hit him.
“It certainly affected our game.
"We just wanted to play footy.”
The Ghosts are at home to the Craig Field-coached Cudgen Hornets next Saturday which promises to be a blockbuster game.