Defiant Crow defends deliberate out of bounds

Adelaide defender Tom Doedee has done his best to convince the footy world that Nick Murray’s controversial handball at the death of Saturday’s one-point triumph over Melbourne wasn’t deliberate.

Thousands of fans, greats of the game and media personalities broke into furore when the umpire called for a throw-in instead of paying the Demons a free kick in the Adelaide Oval clash.

As Murray swooped on the footy deep in the Crows’ defensive 50 with 32 seconds left on the clock, Demons forward Charlie Spargo hot in pursuit as Adelaide clung to a one-point lead, he shoveled what clearly appeared to be a deliberate handball out of bounds.

A behind from a free kick would have drawn Melbourne level with Adelaide, while a goal would have delivered them a five-point advantage and likely win.

But the ball was thrown in and the Crows held on for a dramatic 15.6 (96) to 14.11 (95) victory.

A defiant Doedee said Murray had attempted to handball the footy to him on his outside.

“No, I was right there. I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Doedee told Nine’s Sunday Footy Show when asked if he was nervous as the ball shot across the boundary.

“I was ready to take it; it wasn’t deliberate. Nick Murray obviously made a good decision to handball it to a particular spot and I was right there and ready to take it … It wasn’t deliberate.”

Footy journalist Damian Barrett asked Doedee if he’d called for the ball.

“Yeah, yeah, absolutely,” Doedee replied.

“I was right there. You can see it on the vision, mate. I was right there.

“If you look at the vision I was on his right and the ball – as it’s going towards the boundary, I’m right there and ready to clean up and go. But unfortunately the ball bounced the wrong way.”

Former 300-game Port Adelaide midfielder Kane Cornes hit Doedee with a rebuttal.

“I’m not sure it’s a defence, the fact you called for it,” Cornes said.

“I’m not sure if that’s one of the defences with deliberate.”

Cornes was under no doubt that Murray had deliberately handballed the footy out of bounds.

“I’m not sure how the umpire can’t pay that deliberate,” Cornes said.

“There’s no intention other than to go to the boundary line there.”

Three-time Coleman medallist Jason Dunstall was baffled at the umpire’s decision.

“That has to be deliberate, doesn’t it?” Dunstall asked fellow Fox Footy expert Gary Lyon, who was just as stunned.

“It’s a 10-metre handball to the boundary line!”

Former Bulldogs captain Brad Johnson empathised with Demons fans.

“Melbourne fans at home will be screaming about that deliberate out of bounds non-call,” Johnson said.

“For me it was deliberate, completely deliberate and it should’ve been called that by the umpires.”

The argument is likely to continue bubbling away for several days yet, but that won’t change the fact that last year’s wooden-spooners ended the winning run of the only undefeated team left this season.

The Western Bulldogs are the new ladder-leaders after Melbourne fell to Adelaide and Luke Beveridge’s men humiliated St Kilda in a 111-point drubbing.

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