KOROIT star Ben Dobson will miss next season's opening round after an independent tribunal found him guilty of unbecoming conduct on Thursday night.
The premiership defender was handed a two-game ban, with one week suspended until the end of 2020, for a hit on North Warrnambool Eagles' Sam McLachlan in the second quarter of the Hampden league grand final on September 21.
The tribunal panel of chair David Gladman, Robert Wade and Robert Anderson assessed the player's evidence, a video and still images of the incident before coming to their verdict in an hour-long hearing.
McLachlan, who provided his testimony over the phone, rated the blow's force a "seven or eight out of ten" and said he suffered headaches in the hours and days after the game.
The midfielder, who complete the match undeterred as the Saints held on for a three-point win, said he was hit on his right jaw and ear which caused him to immediately fall to the ground.
Dobson, who had never been reported or received a yellow card in over 200 senior football games in a number of leagues, argued the hit was "100 per cent not with my elbow but with my forearm".
He added that the hit's impact was initially to the shoulder before momentum took it into McLachlan's neck.
Dobson's advocate Peter McElgunn agreed in his summary that there was high contact but stated the blow was accidental and it was "a split second" incident.
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