Camperdown captain Sam Cunnington will miss Saturday’s qualifying final after copping a one-match suspension from the Hampden league’s independent tribunal on Tuesday night.
The midfielder was reported for intentionally striking Port Fairy’s Dylan Herbertson in the final quarter of Saturday’s clash at Camperdown’s Leura Oval.
Cunnington, who pleaded guilty, was handed a one-match suspension with a one-match suspended sentence hanging over his head until September 30 next year.
When making his plea the former Cobden captain said the hit was out of character, was one motion with no intent to harm.
Shane Dempsey, the reporting umpire who spoke via phone, said he was not the main officiating umpire at the time but said he was confident contact was made with a clenched fist in a non-vicious punching motion to the jaw-cheekbone area.
Dempsey said he issued Cunnington a yellow card and told him he was reported, which he understood. Herbertson rated the impact of the hit a six or seven out of 10 but he didn’t fall to the ground.
Long-serving Camperdown football manager Keith Stephens read a character reference for Cunnington. Anthony Foster, Cunnnington’s player advocate, also read a reference from Cobden president Chris Walsh.
Tribunal chairman Terry O’Keefe considered the evidence of the two players, Dempsey, video footage and character references when handing down the penalty.
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