‘Borders on cheating’: Melbourne fail to win two crucial free kicks in shock one-point loss to Adelaide

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Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
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VideoAdelaide have ended Melbourne's unbeaten run in 2021, but it wasn't without controversy.

Adelaide has delivered the most stunning win of 2021, but the victory over Melbourne has been marred by two controversial umpiring decisions in the dying seconds.

After Crow Taylor Walker kicked his third goal to give his side a one-point lead with less than a minute remaining, the Demons surged forward out of the middle.

Harrison Petty wrapped up Crow Ben Keays with just 40 seconds on the clock but failed to win his side a free kick, even though Keays dropped the ball.

To anger Melbourne fans further, Adelaide’s Nick Murray wasn’t penalised for handballing directly to the boundary line with less than 30 seconds remaining just beside the Demons’ goal post.

“That has to be deliberate doesn’t it?” commentator Jason Dunstall lamented.

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

West Aussie Luke Jackson could have been awarded the shot on goal after the siren, with a point enough to tie the game.

But without the call, Crows fans rejoiced in the Adelaide Oval stands as the home side hung on for a 15.6 (95) to 14.11 (95) win.

“That’s bordering on cheating,” one fan commented. “Two massive non calls gifted Adelaide the win.”

“Umpire values his life more than correct decision,” another fan posted.

“How was that not holding the ball and deliberate at the end? Absolute (sic) disgusting,” an angry fan said.

“I loved the drama. But you have never seen a more deliberate out of bounds call in your life,” NewsCorp’s Jon Ralph said.

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