Lloyd ban spells crisis time for Bombers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lloyd ban spells crisis time for Bombers

By Adam Cooper MELBOURNE, April 6 AAP - It's officially crisis time at Essendon, with star full-f 06/04/2004 09:44:42 PM Comments (0)

It's officially crisis time at Essendon, with star full-forward Matthew Lloyd suspended for two games at the AFL tribunal for striking and the Bombers' hopes of a speedy recovery have nosedived.

Lloyd and Essendon captain James Hird both testified Lloyd made accidental contact to the underneath of St Kilda midfielder Nick Dal Santo's jaw as he attempted to break the Saint's front-on tackle in the second quarter of last Saturday night's fiery game at Telstra Dome.

But despite conceding the tribunal did not view the incident as a serious offence, chairman Brian Collis, QC, said Lloyd acted recklessly by making a "forceful open thrust of his hand" into Dal Santo, leaving the Saint stunned for several seconds.

Lloyd, booked on a video charge, will miss Saturday night's game against West Coast and the round four clash against Carlton and any problems Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy had - the Bombers sit winless at the bottom of the ladder and have several injury concerns - have multiplied dramatically.

Also, young Geelong midfielder Brent Moloney was suspended for two games for striking former teammate and now Carlton midfielder David Clarke, while Port Adelaide defender Michael Wilson was cleared of rough play on West Coast's Trent Carroll.

Five players were charged with wrestling from two separate scuffles.

Richmond captain Wayne Campbell and Melbourne's Travis Johnstone both opted for automatic $1,200 fines while Demon James McDonald was cleared from Friday night's scuffle at the MCG.

Collingwood forward Chris Tarrant and Western Bulldogs midfielder Scott West, who scuffled on Saturday at the MCG, were each fined $2,500 for their second wrestling offence.

Lloyd said he made accidental contact to Dal Santo's jaw trying to raise his arms above the Saint's head as he was tackled, in the same way St Kilda champion Robert Harvey and Brisbane captain Michael Voss would.

He said his fended off Dal Santo with an open left hand while trying to handball towards Hird's voice and told reporting officer Rick Lewis he would be amazed how many times similar incidents happened.

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