Bartel escapes with one-week suspension - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bartel escapes with one-week suspension

By Roger Vaughan 08/08/2006 08:01:09 PM Comments (0)

Geelong onballer Jimmy Bartel will only miss one AFL match after a successful hearing at the AFL tribunal.

Bartel pleaded guilty to rough conduct against Brisbane midfielder Troy Selwood, but after a long deliberation of 15 minutes the three-man jury found his conduct negligent, rather than reckless.

It means one of the Cats' best players this season will miss Sunday's Telstra Dome game against St Kilda.

Also, the tribunal found Collingwood forward Alan Didak guilty of tripping Adelaide opponent Michael Doughty.

While Didak escaped with a reprimand, he now has 82.5 penalty points against his name - only 17.5 short of a one-game ban.

Geelong is two games outside the top eight with four rounds left and will miss Bartel this weekend.

But Tuesday night was a good result considering he originally faced a three-match suspension for the charge.

The Cats reduced the penalty by pleading guilty and then successfully argued the classification should be negligent, rather than reckless, to gain another one-match discount.

Bartel testified he saw Selwood stumble after he collided with the field umpire soon after a centre bounce.

The Cat midfielder hesitated, then turned his back to Selwood and tried to block him with his hip so fellow Geelong midfielder Joel Corey could gain possession.

"I just wanted to make contact on the shoulder, on the side of the body ... I was looking at the ball," Bartel said.

Bartel will return for the round-20 match home match against Sydney.

The Swans and Saints are among five teams who are in the top eight on 11 wins, two games clear of the ninth-placed Cats.

Also, Collingwood tried to clear Didak of his tripping charge, arguing it was an accident.

But the jury agreed with the original assessment that it was a negligent act.

The high level of carry-over points means Didak virtually adds another game to any penalty if the match review panel charges him again, a potentially-important factor with the finals looming.

Field umpire Darren Goldspink reported Didak immediately after the incident on Saturday night at AAMI Stadium and stuck to his opinion under cross-examination from player advocate Terry Forrest QC.

"On the day (sic) I saw Didak put his foot out and trip Doughty," Goldspink said.

"He flung his foot out and took his (Doughty's) feet out from underneath him."

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