Injury cuts Saints-Roos contest short at McLaughlin Park

The sun was out, the crowd was in and two top three teams were ready for battle, everything pointed towards a perfect Saturday afternoon of Western Border football between Millicent and West Gambier.

The fans were bracing themselves for around 100 minutes of captivating football, but instead they were not even given 100 seconds after a horrific injury brought the round 13 clash to a premature end.

After receiving a handball out of the pack, Roo Nathan Taylor managed to get boot to ball and snapped it deep inside 50 where Aden Pfitzner outran three defenders to score a goal.

It was the dream start for the Roos against the fancied Saints and usually a major inside the opening two minutes would be met with wild celebrations.

However, there were no cheers as any clap around McLaughlin Park was silenced by Taylor’s screams of pain.

Moments after completing the snap the helmet-wearing young Roo collided with Millicent ruck Finn Grimes, who made an unsuccessful attempt to smother the ball and the pair tangled up.

The result was not pretty for Taylor, who suffered a fractured leg and everyone knew it was serious instantly with play stopped and both teams eventually returning to the rooms.

Trainers did their best to safely escort him off the ground, but decided it was best to wait for an ambulance to arrive.

Unfortunately, by the time Taylor was in safe hands, it was too late for the game to resume and be completed in time so it was cancelled.

Both teams were rewarded two premiership points each which could have huge ramifications on the finals race.

But the most important thing is the wellbeing of Taylor, who is on the road to recovery according to West Gambier Football Club president Shane Giddings.

“He had his operation on Sunday and is in good spirits and hopefully on the mend,” he said.

“We had nothing but admiration for the people involved who were outstanding.

“The entire Millicent club and even the team manager helped control stuff to make sure it was all really well handled.”

This welcome news was also confirmed by one of the field umpires at McLaughlin Park, who explained the unusual process to The SE Voice.

“What happened was we started the game and two minutes in young “Squizzy” (Taylor) kicked the ball forward and someone landed awkwardly when smothering the ball,” the umpire said.

“When he kicked it, we heard it go snap and he was in all sorts of pain, so we stopped the game.

“It was taking ages to get him off and I said ‘leave him there because the game is not important anymore, the man’s health is’.

“They could not move him so we had to get an ambulance, but because there was already one there for an injured B Grade player, they had to get another from Mount Gambier.

“We came up with some scenarios and Scott Duncan was there and found out if the game did not restart from 3.30pm the game was a non-event.

“Both teams were very good about it and there were no disagreements.

“I sent him a message wishing a speedy recovery and he actually sent me a reply back.”

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