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By David Nagel and Russell Bennett
In an ironic twist, the Berwick Football Club has requested an investigation into an incident that took place during the second quarter of Saturday’s grand final rematch against Cranbourne.
The alleged incident, which left star-recruit James Magner with a bloodied right eye and forced to leave the field of play, occurred during a collision between Magner and Cranbourne midfielder Luke Bee-Hugo.
The irony of Berwick’s request is that Cranbourne followed the same path after an incident between Berwick skipper Madi Andrews and Cranbourne midfielder Mat Fletcher during the corresponding clash at the same venue last year.
Andrews was brought before the tribunal and suspended for four matches.
Berwick launched an appeal with the AFL Victoria Country Appeal Board and had the decision overturned, allowing Andrews to play in last year’s finals series.
Berwick president Glenn Gambetta confirmed the club had made formal contact with the league and requested an investigation, a process which requires a $500 surety.
“I don’t want to play this out in the media but what I can say is that we have sent a formal letter to the league and have requested an investigation into an incident that took place on Saturday against Cranbourne,” Gambetta said.
“There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.”
Magner had won a one-on-one contest on Berwick’s half-forward line – the scoreboard half-forward flank at Edwin Flack Reserve – and had just fired off a handball when the alleged collision occurred.
Magner was forced to his knees by the impact but recovered sufficiently to make his way from the ground under his own steam.
SEFNL will now request an investigation into the incident which will need to be completed inside the mandatory 21 days by investigation officer assigned to the case. The investigation officer will then make his recommendations to SEFNL.
If a tribunal appearance is recommended, the tribunal needs to take place within nine days, with at least 48 hours’ notice given to the members of the tribunal – who only sit on either Tuesday or Wednesday nights.
Meanwhile, on a sour note for Nar Nar Goon, gun young midfielder Todd Beck is looking at an extended period on the sidelines after an on-field incident.
The Goon has requested the West Gippsland Football Netball Competition investigate a blow which left Beck hospitalised.
He has since had plates inserted in his bottom jaw and the Gazette understands he’ll be unable to eat solid foods for a matter of weeks and could be out of action for around two months.
Goon coach Kris Fletcher said he didn’t see the incident, simply adding: “I just hope that it wasn’t intentional. We’ve definitely asked for an investigation”.
Beck has shone so far in his return to the Goon this season and would likely have been seriously looked at for selection in the first ever WGFNC senior interleague side.

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