Saints and Dockers both tribunal winners - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Saints and Dockers both tribunal winners

By Guy Hand 02/05/2006 09:20:56 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda and Fremantle both won the first of their stoushes with AFL officialdom this week at the league's tribunal on Tuesday night.

With the AFL Commission set to rule on the result of their controversial drawn match on Wednesday, Saints midfielder Lenny Hayes won himself a reprieve from suspension.

And Fremantle's Jeff Farmer successfully had his suspension on a striking charge reduced to one week.

Hayes' charge of attempting to strike Fremantle's Steven Dodd was thrown out in record time by the tribunal.

The three-man jury took less than 30 seconds of deliberation to decide he was not guilty and freed Hayes to play against the Western Bulldogs at Telstra Dome on Saturday.

Hayes had been originally given a one-match suspension by the AFL match review panel.

But he argued he was trying to break clear of Dodd by chopping at his arms, rather than attempting to strike him with a clenched fist as field umpire Michael Vozzo had claimed in his report.

With no video footage of the incident, the charge rested solely on umpire Vozzo's evidence - the Saints successfully contending Vozzo only saw the tail-end of what actually happened.

"He's holding my jumper and throwing jumper punches," Hayes said.

"I swung my arm down to knock his arm away and at that time, he's let go of me, I've been pushed back and swung through.

"I had no intention of trying to strike anyone. I wish there was footage of it because I wouldn't be sitting here now if there was."

In an incident also lacking in clear video footage, Dockers forward Farmer pleaded guilty to striking St Kilda's Robert Harvey.

But the Dockers convinced the tribunal Farmer's hit on Harvey was reckless conduct rather than intentional conduct.

That reduced the offence by enough demerit points to qualify for a one-week suspension rather than the two offered by the match review panel.

Farmer painted Harvey as the initiator of the aggression - the Docker saying he was trying to protect himself.

"Robert Harvey is coming and launching himself towards me. I don't deny contact was made, but it certainly wasn't intentional," Farmer told the tribunal.

"I'm on the back-foot. At no stage have I tried to intentionally harm or hurt player Harvey."

Farmer will miss the Dockers' weekend match against West Coast but will return for Fremantle's away clash with his old club Melbourne the following week.

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