St Kilda's Hayes cleared of striking - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

St Kilda's Hayes cleared of striking

08/09/2008 07:14:08 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda have been dealt a much-needed dose of good news as they seek to keep their AFL finals campaign alive, with gun midfielder Lenny Hayes cleared of a striking charge on Monday.

The Saints vice-captain was exonerated by the match review panel, after being cited over contact made to Geelong's Joel Selwood during the third quarter of Sunday's qualifying final loss at the MCG.

The panel deemed that Hayes grabbed at Selwood in an instinctive act as he was falling to the ground, rather than struck him.

It means he will be free to play in Saturday night's sudden-death semi-final at the MCG against a Collingwood side buoyed by their weekend upset of Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

That is a vital reprieve for the Saints, given fellow ball-winning midfielder Luke Ball remains uncertain to return after missing the past five games with a hamstring injury.

The Saints were thrashed by the Cats in contested ball situations during their 58-point loss on Sunday.

Ball and Hayes are the club's top two contested possession winners this season.

The panel also reviewed several other incidents from the weekend's matches, but decided against laying any charges.

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