HIGH contact has again been put under the spotlight of the tribunal, with East Point’s Brad Dreher suspended for what could be the rest of the Ballarat Football League season.
Dreher received a three-match suspension at the AFL Goldfields Region Independent Tribunal on Wednesday night where he appeared on two charges; rough conduct and striking.
Pleading not guilty to both charges, Dreher escaped punishment for striking but was not as lucky over the head-high bump on Bacchus Marsh’s Logan Blundell.
The off-the-ball shepherd drew a three-match penalty, which will rule Dreher out for the rest of the season, unless the Kangaroos qualify for the finals and avoid elimination in the first week.
However, he was found not guilty of striking the Cobras’ Rhys McNay just moments after the bump, after a scuffle broke out.
McNay accepted a one-match penalty for his role in the incident, booked for striking East Point’s Chris Banwell.
The Dreher verdict is the latest in a string of penalties handed down by the tribunal this year for head-high contact.
Previous high-profile cases included the suspensions of Bacchus Marsh coach Cam Richardson and North Ballarat City’s Jarrod Edwards, who were both suspended for one match for head-high bumps.
In the latest incident, Dreher ran off his line and bumped Blundell high off the ball, although the Bacchus Marsh youngster was back on his feet not long after the incident.
Dreher will miss crucial games against Lake Wendouree and Darley and possibly the first elimination final, if East Point qualifies.