Lewis wins AFL striking charge challenge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lewis wins AFL striking charge challenge

14/07/2009 06:54:03 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn's Jordan Lewis has promised to stay out of trouble after a lucky escape at the AFL tribunal, where he avoided suspension despite punching an opponent in the stomach.

Lewis was on Tuesday night found not guilty of striking North Melbourne's Firrito in Launceston last Sunday because the tribunal jury ruled the amount of force did not constitute a strike.

The midfielder can now play Collingwood on Saturday night at the MCG, where the Hawks must win to stay in touch with the eight and keep alive their dreams of defending their premiership title.

Lewis had nothing to lose in challenging a one-game suspension, but his challenge looked doomed when he admitted he had no defence for lashing out at Firrito after the Hawk won a free kick for being taken high at Aurora Stadium.

Lewis conceded he punched Firrito out of annoyance, but stressed there was little in the contact he made.

"The degree of force was soft, if it happened to me I wouldn't have thought twice about it," he told the tribunal.

"I probably get four or five of those a game.

"I've got no excuses, I hit him in the stomach, but the degree of force was soft, I would have thought."

The jury agreed with and gave Lewis the benefit of the doubt.

Lewis had twice before been suspended for striking North players, and after the case admitted he had to reign in his frustrations in the future.

"Definitely, I can think of better things to be doing on a night like this than fronting up to a tribunal, so hopefully that's all we hear of it," he said.

"No excuses for what I did, but obviously the force wasn't too hard and I'm very lucky to get off."

Lewis was suspended for two games for striking North's Brent Harvey in the 2007 semi-final and banned for one game for striking Kangaroo Daniel Pratt in round three of the following season.

He also escaped with a reprimand for striking North's Daniel Harris in 2006.

Hawthorn are a game and percentage outside the eight and the clash against the fourth-placed Magpies, who have won their last seven games, is the start of a tough run-home for the reigning premiers.

Lewis' case was the only one taken to the tribunal, as Adelaide youngster James Sellar accepted a $1,950 fine for making negligent contact with an umpire last Saturday night at AAMI Stadium.

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