Sport AFL Dan Hannebery cleared, Steve Johnson banned

Dan Hannebery cleared, Steve Johnson banned

Ouch! Michael Hurley feels the pain after Dan Hannebery crashes into him.
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Star Geelong midfielder Steve Johnson is in the bad books yet again after he was handed a one-match ban for his headbutt on Fremantle’s Ryan Crowley.

But Sydney’s Dan Hannebery fared much better following his controversial collision with Essendon’s Michael Hurley, which had drawn comparisons with the Jack Viney-Tom Lynch collision a fortnight earlier.

Hannebery was cleared after the match review panel deemed the contact to be unavoidable and incidental.

Johnson was charged with a level one misconduct offence after slightly leaning his head towards Crowley and making contact with the tagger’s face as the pair jogged along.

Under normal circumstances, Johnson would have been able to escape with a reprimand.

But his existing bad record of five matches suspended within the past two years, plus 71.78 carryover points, increased the penalty from 125 demerit points to 234.28 and a two-match ban.

An early guilty plea will reduce the suspension to one game.

Johnson was suspended three times last season, and his latest ban rules him out of Friday night’s crunch clash with North Melbourne at Simonds Stadium.

In a rare dose of good news for Johnson, he was cleared of his fourth-quarter clash with Michael Barlow.

Fremantle ruckman Zac Clarke can escape with a reprimand if he takes the early guilty plea for his elbow to the face of Johnson.

He risks a one-match ban if he challenges the finding.

Melbourne forward Chris Dawes is facing a one-match ban for striking Alex Rance during the Demons’ upset win over the Tigers on Saturday.

The level-three striking charge drew 225 demerit points, but that will be reduced to 168.75 with an early guilty plea.

Sydney Swans veteran Nick Malceski was cleared of any wrongdoing over his sickening clash with umpire Troy Pannell.

Pannell was knocked unconscious by the incident and was stretchered off the ground.

The panel said the collision was nothing more than an accident, with Malceski’s focus clearly on the play.