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Falcons debutant hospitalised

THE Geelong Falcons’ 10-goal victory over the Bendigo Pioneers has been soured by a nasty injury to debutante ruckman Jack Grigsby.

The Geelong West Giants bigman was taken to Bendigo Hospital for scans on his neck and spine after he was left lying motionless following an innocuous contest early in the third term of the clash at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

The match was stopped for about 10 minutes while Grigsby was treated by medical staff before being taken away by ambulance.

Falcons coach Danny O’Keefe said the club is hopeful he’s escaped serious damage but the 17-year-old will spend the night under observation in Bendigo Hospital with his parents Bruce and Kaylene, who were at the game watching their son make his TAC Cup debut.

O’Keefe said the 198cm Grigsby was hurt in an accidental clash of bodies.

“He was going really well at that stage so it’s a real shame for him,” O’Keefe said of Grigsby’s injury.

The top-of-the ladder Falcons returned to the winner’s list with an 11.21 (87) to 3.9 (27) victory over the Pioneers.

Key forward Adam Garner kicked three goals – all in the first quarter – while centre half-forward Tom McCartin impressed with his workrate in a performance that O’Keefe hopes will make Vic Country selectors take note.

O’Keefe said if not for inaccurate kicking, McCartin could have also finished with a bag.

Doyle Madigan was impressive on a wing, Connor Idun continues to flourish in defence, Brayden Ham enjoyed his best performance of the season while, as expected, James Worpel (two goals) and Cassidy Parrish dominated around the stoppages.

“We got so much out of the day,” O’Keefe said. “It was an opportunity to redeem ourselves from last round (loss to Gippsland) and we put it on all of the players to bounce back.

“It was fantastic to have half the group as 17-year-old’s and having the opportunity to stand up and play their roles.”

Garner has 20 goals for the season – all coming in his last six games. He also had to cover in the ruck late in the game in the absence of Grigsby.

The Falcons head into the second half of the season assured of a finals berth – for the 15th consecutive season – and they sit a game clear of Oakleigh on top of the ladder.

The Falcons head to Trevor Barker Oval next Sunday to take on the Sandringham Dragons, the team which defeated them in last season’s preliminary final.