Heart scare

KERANG reserves player, Patrick Featonby remains in the Alfred Hospital in a stable condition after collapsing during Saturday's Central Murray Football Netball League reserves match at Balranald.

The forward, playing his first game for the Blues, collapsed early in the opening term of the match at Greenham Park, with trainers needing to use a defibrillator to revive the Kerang Christian College teacher.

Trainers noticed the debutante hunched on his knees before collapsing, with play stopping as officials from both sides worked to revive Featonby.

"I was speaking to Patrick on Sunday and his cardiologist said that without the defibrillator, he would have had a three per cent chance of survival," Blues president, Rob Fisher said.

"Defibrillators are a brilliant piece of equipment. It recognises when there is no heart rhythm, and by the second cycle Patrick had been revived.

"There was also a nurse at the netball courts, but by the time she arrived Patrick was breathing again."

Windy conditions prevented Featonby to be flown directly to the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, meaning New South Wales Ambulance personnel had to take him by road to Mildura for a flight to Melbourne.

The reserves match was called off as play had lapsed for more than 30 minutes, with a draw declared as the break in play occurred in the opening half.

However, both teams agreed to abandon the seniors game due to the effect the incident had on players, officials and spectators.

"A number of players felt uncomfortable about playing after what occurred, so after discussions with the Balranald president and CMFNL board member, Dale Jager, who was umpiring the game, we decided it would be best to abandon the seniors," Fisher said.

"Some things are more important than footy, and this is one of them."

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