Coleambally coach Josh Hamilton is free to play in Saturday’s qualifying final against The Rock-Yerong Creek after beating a striking charge at the AFL Riverina independent tribunal on Thursday night.
In a dramatic turn less than 48 hours from the start of finals, Hamilton was found not guilty of intentionally or carelessly striking East Wagga-Kooringal’s Steve Smith during the third quarter of the Blues’ round 18 loss at Gumly Oval last Saturday.
He had been reported by the boundary umpire and referred to the tribunal after the incident was graded as intentional, high impact and high contact.
Hamilton was cleared due to inconclusive evidence at a hearing in Ganmain which lasted an hour and 45 minutes.
Coleambally had two witnesses at the hearing, which was closed to the media, including Blues player Brandon Mathews and a spectator who was seated close to the incident on the boundary.
“We’re just relieved, we thought we had a good case,” Coleambally president Shane Mannes said after the hearing.
Meanwhile, on a hectic night for the code, AFL House in Wagga hosted a marathon late-night hearing into the quarter-time brawl during the Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong and Leeton-Whitton Riverina League game two weeks ago.
Seven people, including GGGM players James Lawton and Adam Cullen, were hit with penalties while the two clubs were fined. Click here for the full story.