PORT Fairy’s quest to break a 60-year premiership drought has been dealt a blow with key forward Sam McCartney copping a one match suspension.
McCartney will now miss Saturday’s preliminary final against Koroit at Friendly Societies Park.
McCartney faced an independent tribunal on Wednesday night at Deakin University.
The tribunal found McCartney guilty of a charge of unbecoming conduct for bumping or making forceful contact to an opponent from front on when the player had his head over the ball. Camperdown’s Riley Arnold was the opponent in question.
McCartney pleaded guilty, acknowledging contact was made but said it was not intentional.
The tribunal agreed the contact to Arnold’s head was not intentional but was careless.
Tribunal chair Ted Ivermee praised McCartney for pleading guilty and said he appeared genuinely remorseful. He said the tribunal took into account the fact this was the first time McCartney had fronted the tribunal in his 193-game senior career.
But Ivermee said a penalty had to be handed down as the head was sacrosanct.
The incident happened in the round 18 clash between the Seagulls and Magpies at Leura Oval on August 25. The incident was referred to the tribunal after an investigation, which Camperdown had requested.
Camperdown won the game and went on to defeat Port Fairy in the qualifying final. The Magpies used the momentum from these wins to defeat reigning premier Koroit in the second semi-final and book a place in the grand final.
McCartney kicked six goals in Port Fairy’s first semi-final win over South Warrnambool.