The umpire in charge of the Bendigo Thunder and North Ballarat Victorian Women’s Football League clash in which the visitors walked off with three minutes left on the clock, has said the game was played “hard but fair”.
Controversy surrounds the match played at Kangaroo Flat’s Dower Park, when North Ballarat left the field early because of concerns with rough play.
Central umpire Adrian Fisher said North Ballarat made a mistake by walking off the pitch following a down-field free kick paid against Bendigo.
“I thought the game was played hard but fair,” Fisher said.
“North Ballarat complained I paid nine down-the-field decisions for rough tackles, but I don’t think it was that many.
“I think North Ballarat were probably concerned as they had such a young team.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
Bendigo Thunder’s Bianca Rinaldi spoke to the coach of the North Ballarat side twice after the game, who said he would push for an additional umpire in all VWFL games.
The game is now under investigation by the league.
The Thunder scored a 23 point victory, their first against North Ballarat.
North Ballarat has refused to talk to the media about their walk-off.