AFL Tribunal clears Dixon and Bowden - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL Tribunal clears Dixon and Bowden

By Roger Vaughan 29/07/2003 07:58:37 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn received a boost for Sunday's must-win match against Port Adelaide when Ben Dixon was cleared at the AFL tribunal.

The three-person panel did not need long to rule him not guilty of engaging in rough play against West Coast defender David Wirrpunda.

Richmond midfielder Joel Bowden convinced the panel he was not guilty of charging but St Kilda forward Stephen Milne received a one-match ban after being found guilty of striking.

The Hawks are on the verge of dropping out of the finals race with five rounds left and the ladder-leading Power will start a strong favourite Sunday.

Reporting umpire Scott McLaren argued Dixon made unnecessary and unreasonable contact with Wirrpunda last Friday night.

Wirrpunda was on the ground when Dixon straddled him as they went for the ball.

McLaren said Dixon's left knee made "quite forceful contact" on Wirrpunda's back, but the Eagle had a completely different account of the incident.

"I felt slight contact to my upper arm," Wirrpunda testified.

While the panel only needed a few moments to rule on Dixon, it took several minutes to decide Bowden's fate after he was accused of charging Western Bulldogs captain Scott West.

Tribunal chairman Brian Collis QC said Bowden had given a "plausible explanation".

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