AFL ump’s ‘damn fine’ reaction to brutal falcon

Long-time AFL umpire Simon Meredith copped what appeared to be a brutal falcon during St Kilda’s win against North Melbourne – but he kept his feet and soldiered on.

St Kilda defender Jimmy Webster retrieved the footy in the centre square during the fourth quarter and tried to send the ball inside 50, but he shanked the kick and it thudded into Meredith’s head.

“The umpire’s been clocked in the head!” said Fox Footy commentator Anthony Hudson.

Hawthorn great Jason Dunstall was stunned.

“A full-blooded poleaxing from the footy,” he said.

Former Melbourne captain Gary Lyon added: “He’s up, though.”

Dunstall said: “He’s done well to keep his feet, the umpire. That is tough.”

While play didn’t stop for Meredith to receive medical attention, North Melbourne’s doctor ran over to check on his welfare.

St Kilda won the match by 20 points, 12.16 (88) to 10.8 (68), locking up their first victory since defeating Gold Coast in Round Eight.

Coach Brett Ratten was desperate for his troops to respond to last week’s 111-point thumping at the hands of the Western Bulldogs – and that they did.

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