By David Nagel
Pakenham Football Club has requested the South East Football Netball League launch an investigation into Saturday’s fiery clash against Doveton at Robinson Oval.
The Lions requested the investigation on Wednesday; just hours before they attended a tribunal hearing to challenge suspensions handed down to two of their players.
Ruckman Sam Cole was reported on a charge of Unduly Rough Play for a late bump on Doveton’s Tyson Bellinger, while forward Jayden Bootsma was red-carded and sent from the field for abusive language towards an umpire.
The Lions challenge proved unsuccessful, the tribunal extending Cole’s two-match suspension to three, and Bootsma’s automatic three-match ban to four.
Both charges emanated from a nasty fourth quarter, with tensions building and leading to an ugly brawl on the members wing at Doveton.
Pakenham has asked for the investigation to look at the entire duration of the match, with several alleged last-quarter incidents of particular interest.
The first alleged incident, involving a hit on Lions’ defender Tom Blackwood, took place just seconds before Cole’s late-bump on Bellinger –which sparked the brawl.
The brawl itself will be investigated, as will the number of players on the field at the time with the fight breaking out just metres from the interchange bench.
A further alleged incident –just seconds after the brawl – involved a head-high bump on Lions’ skipper Chris Cardona.
All incidents have been captured on SEFNL TV, with the league cutting vision usually available to the general public.
SEFNL will now appoint an independent investigator who has 10 days to lodge a report back to the league – which will then assess the recommendations and decide whether to take matters further.
Pakenham has not ruled out taking the Cole and Bootsma suspensions to appeal.