THE MAIDEN GULLY YCW PLAYER POINTS SAGA:
MAIDEN Gully YCW's appeal against its player points penalty has been dismissed, finally locking in this Sunday's Loddon Valley league elimination final between the Eagles and Calivil United.
The outcome of the appeal to AFL Victoria leaves Marong as the biggest loser out of the saga, which stems from Maiden Gully YCW breaching its player points limit of 45 in its four-point win over Calivil United in round 14.
The subsequent awarding of the points to Calivil United was enough for the Demons to edge out Marong on percentage for fifth spot in a bitterly disappointing result for the Panthers, who had trained on Tuesday night with there still a glimmer of hope there could be an appeal outcome that gave them a finals reprieve.
However, in a statement from the LVFNL on Wednesday: "the panel deemed that it is the responsibility of each club to show due diligence on team sheets for player points and the aspects considered by the AFL Central Victoria Commission in determining the sanction were reasonable in circumstances."
The last-minute change of Taylor Collins (three points) being brought into the Eagles' senior side for Luke Ross (one point) tipped the Eagles to 47 points.
The Eagles won the game 7.10 (52) to 6.12 (48), but the match is now officially recorded as Calivil United winning 6.12 (48) to 0.0 (0).
Maiden Gully YCW president Chris Garlick said the club would accept the decision and move on.
However, it's a bitter pill to swallow for Marong given had the Eagles not broken their points cap in round 14, the Panthers' season would still be alive.
"A lot of time and effort has gone in this year to get us in a position where we should be playing finals," Marong co-coach Taylor Beard said.
"It's obviously very deflating at the moment... effectively a team that has won more games is missing out on a technicality."
Maiden Gully YCW - whose finishing ladder position would have remained fourth regardless of the appeal outcome - and Calivil United will play their elimination final at Pyramid Hill.
The Loddon Valley league finals begin with the qualifying finals at Marong on Saturday.
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