Lovett-Murray faces hefty AFL suspension - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lovett-Murray faces hefty AFL suspension

25/05/2009 05:35:40 PM Comments (0)

Essendon utility Nathan Lovett-Murray could be suspended into the second half of the AFL season after being charged for his high bump on Richmond's Kayne Pettifer.

Lovett-Murray was charged on Monday with a level three report of engaging in rough play against the Tiger forward on Saturday night at the MCG, leaving him facing a four-game ban that could be reduced to three matches with a guilty plea.

Lovett-Murray's bump as Pettifer kicked the ball left his opponent bleeding from the nose and was assessed by the match review panel as high, reckless, and of medium impact.

That drew 325 demerit points, but Lovett-Murray's bad recent record - he has missed four games through suspension the past three years - inflated his demerit tally to 455 points, and over the four-game threshold.

Lovett-Murray can reduce that to 341.25 points and three games out with an early plea.

The only way he can play this weekend is by successfully challenging his report at the tribunal on Tuesday night.

Geelong forward Mathew Stokes will miss Sunday's clash against the Bombers unless he can beat a striking charge at the tribunal on Tuesday night.

Stokes was reported for striking the Western Bulldogs' Liam Picken last Friday night, but cannot reduce his demerit points under 100 even if he pleads guilty.

Stokes' strike was assessed as intentional, of low impact and to Picken's body, and drew 125 demerit points.

A guilty plea would usually be enough to get Stokes under the one-game threshold, but his record also counts against him.

Stokes' five games suspended in the past three years took him to 187.5 points, which means a guilty plea would only get him down to 140.64.

Stokes' teammate, Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel, was charged with tripping Bulldog Shaun Higgins, but can escape with a reprimand through an early plea.

The 2007 Brownlow winner remains eligible to win this year's award.

The match review panel threw out match-day reports against Essendon's Courtenay Dempsey, also for rough conduct against Pettifer, and Richmond's Mark Coughlan, for making front-on contact on Bomber Jason Winderlich.

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