Melbourne’s top scorer Bayley Fritsch is free to participate in Saturday night’s AFL clash against Sydney after rescinding his one-match strikeout suspension
Fritsch has been charged after hitting young North Melbourne pistol Tom Powell with high defense in Sunday’s 30-point victory in Hobart
Match review manager Michael Christian rated the second quarter incident as reckless driving, medium impact, and high contact resulting in one match being suspended
Fritsch has pleaded not guilty to the reckless driving aspect of the prosecution, with club lawyer Adrian Anderson arguing that the high contact was caused by two aspects beyond the control of the Melbourne striker
“The high contact was caused by Powell being pushed into him faster and lower than one might reasonably expect,” Anderson said.
“There was only 02 of a second between (Fritsch) collecting the ball and contact is made. Powell’s hand also pushes Fritsch’s forearm higher”
The AFL court jury agreed, saying Fritsch had not breached his duty of care to the opposing player
Fritsch scored six goals against the Kangaroos to bring his total to 18 majors at Melbourne’s 7-0 earlier this year
His availability this week is a big boost for Melbourne, who will be without key defenseman Adam Tomlinson (ACL tear) for the season, and vice-captain Jack Viney for up to three weeks with a toe injury
AFL lawyer Jeff Gleeson argued that Fritsch breached his duty of care to a rival player by raising his forearm
“Raising the forearm and elbow in a fast moving environment is a reckless act,” Gleeson said
“You don’t intend to hit the other person, but are you in breach of your duty of care to another player who quickly approaches you with a raised forearm?
“If your arm or elbow is down, you don’t risk hitting someone. He raises his arm as a method of defense”
Bayley Fritsch, Australian Football League, North Melbourne Football Club, AFL Tribunal, Michael Christian
Ebene News – UA – Melbourne’s young gunman Bayley Fritsch takes huge victory at the AFL Tribunal