Headcount costs Lourey medal
A TEAMMATE'S momentary lapse in concentration has cost Frankston’s Michael Lourey the chance to share one of the VFL’s most sought-after awards, writes David O'Neill.
With seven goals in the final round of the home-and-away season, it was Port Melbourne’s Dean Galea that clinched the ‘Frosty’ Miller Medal as the competition’s leading goalkicker.
Only one major further back was Lourey on 54, denied a piece of the prize by the rarest of incidents.
The Dolphins’ spearhead sent 55 kicks through the big sticks this year, which normally would have been enough to be named joint-winner of the award.
But the number 54 will forever be etched next to his 2013 season after Frankston’s score was wiped during its Round 14 clash with the North Ballarat Roosters, erasing Lourey’s first half major in the process.
A headcount early in the third quarter revealed the Dolphins had 19 players on the field and, under league rules, their score to that point was reduced to zero in the aftermath.
While the penalty was hard to swallow at the time, its true ramifications are only now be realised.
Lourey started the final round two goals clear of his nearest rival in Werribee Tigers forward Ben Warren but could only manage one six-pointer as the Dolphins fell to Sandringham by 15 points.
Despite being the clubhouse leader on Saturday night, Galea’s seven-goal haul on Sunday against Coburg saw the 2012 ‘Frosty’ Miller Medalist leapfrog Lourey and reclaim his title.
While acknowledging his rotten luck, Lourey said he wasn’t dwelling on the result.
“I thought for Dean Galea to kick seven in the last round to win it was a pretty good effort,” Lourey said.
“We were having a few beers with the Frankston boys yesterday and having a laugh about it, but what can you do, that’s just football.”
Lourey said he knew which teammate had made the error on that faithful day back in July, but he wasn’t holding a grudge.
“It was a team mistake and everyone’s responsibility,” he said.
“At the end of the day I’m still really happy with the season and to have kicked 54 goals.”
In good news for Dolphins fans, Lourey says he has no plans to leave Frankston Oval in the off-season and will be on board next year for another tilt at a finals berth.