Hawthorn dudded by umpiring oversight that gave Port 'extra 19 seconds' in AFL thriller

The Hawks only had themselves to blame after blowing a 41-point lead - or did they?

Startling new vision has come to light that shows Port Adelaide were given 19 extra seconds that they shouldn't have had in their last-gasp win over Hawthorn. The Power pulled off an extraordinary comeback on Sunday after they trailed the Hawks by a staggering 41 points in the third quarter.

Sam Mitchell copped plenty of flak for being too defensive in the final quarter and trying to protect the lead, but it turns out the Hawks might have been dudded by an oversight from the umpires. Darcy Byrne-Jones kicked the match-winning goal with just two seconds remaining, but leading AFL reporter Jon Ralph has revealed the game probably should have been over by that stage.

Port Adelaide and Hawthorn players during their AFL clash.
The clock was stopped for 19 seconds when it should have been running before Port Adelaide's last-gasp win over Hawthorn. Image: Getty/Fox Footy

Speaking on Fox Footy on Monday night, Ralph showed vision of one of the umpires failing to call time back on earlier in the fourth quarter which gave Port an extra 19 seconds that they shouldn't have had. After Byrne-Jones was awarded a free kick with around seven minutes remaining, the umpire called time off because the ball tumbled away from him.

Time should have been called back on as soon as Byrne-Jones was given the ball again, but the umpire waited until he started moving in to take the kick at goal before calling time back on. It meant the clock was stopped for 19 seconds when it should have been running.

"It turns out that maybe Port Adelaide got those extra 19 seconds they didn’t deserve,” Ralph said. “He (Byrne-Jones) wins the high free-kick against Sam Frost, the ball spills (away from Byrne-Jones), and so the clock stops.

“Mitch Georgiades throws that ball back to him, which is when the clock should have started – instead it freezes on 7:35. Only at the top of (Byrne-Jones’) mark does the umpire call time on again with his hand in the air.”

The umpire, pictured here only calling time back on when was Darcy Byrne-Jones was coming in for his shot at goal.
The umpire only called time back on when was Darcy Byrne-Jones was coming in for his shot at goal. Image: Fox Footy

Ralph also revealed the AFL ticked off the contentious moment because there wasn't an official time-keeping error as such. "But speaking to former and current umpires, they say that he should not have had those 19 seconds,” Ralph added. “In theory, you don’t get those 19 seconds, you don’t kick the other (match-winning) goal.”

Ralph also highlighted the fact there was an identical situation with Willie Rioli later in the quarter, but on that occasion the umpires got the clock started again correctly because it was a more sensitive situation. “Hawthorn is aware of the incident, they know of course they did so many things wrong themselves, but in a season with so many fine margins, it’s probably one that got away again for Hawthorn.” Ralph added. “(There’s) nothing they can do now – it’s not an official error – but gee, those Hawthorn fans they would’ve loved that 20 seconds to be taken off the clock.”

Darcy Byrne-Jones, pictured here after his match-winning goal.
Darcy Byrne-Jones celebrates as Hawthorn players look on shattered.

Hawthorn dominated the first three quarters of the match, with Blake Hardwick booting five goals. The Hawks led by 22 points at half-time and Cam Mackenzie's goal in the 23rd minute of the third term put them up by 41 points.


But Mitchell played it way too safe in the final quarter and completely changed the Hawks' tactics. He took off Jack Ginnivan and moved Hardwick down back in an attempt to shore up the Hawks' defence, which meant Hawthorn had very few scoring threats in the last term. AFL greats David King and Dermott Brereton were both highly critical of Mitchell's decision-making and said the coach's tactics cost his side the win.