ANDY Carey’s flawless record last night spared him the full wrath of the Ovens and Murray tribunal.
The Albury enforcer was suspended for one match after being found guilty of striking Yarrawonga youngster Corey Greer during Saturday’s fiery encounter at Albury Sportsground.
Despite finding Carey guilty, the tribunal, chaired by Wayne Taylor, took the former Myrtleford star’s decorated career into account when deciding on a penalty.
Carey, 30, had never been reported since he first played senior football at Beechworth aged just 16.
Taylor said when a player boasted a record like that, they should get a chance to rely on it.
The hearing lasted more than three hours.
There was a spanner thrown in the works early, with high-profile player advocate Iain Findlay lodging a private submission that saw two of the three reports withdrawn before the hearing had even begun.
Only central umpire John Bastin’s report was heard.
However, the other two reporting umpires were later called as witnesses.
Carey, who pleaded not guilty, did not deny he had pulled Greer off teammate Josh Gaynor after a scuffle erupted in the third quarter of Saturday’s bitter final round showdown.
He did, however, deny punching the Pigeons’ young gun.
Carey’s record, which contains multiple premierships, best and fairest awards and representative honours, was backed up in person by recent Hall of Fame inductee Paul Spargo.
The legendary Albury coach, who waited until 10.30pm to address the tribunal, said he “did not often, and did not like, doing these things” but said he wanted to for Carey because he “couldn’t speak highly enough” of the three-time premiership star.
Carey will sit out the Tigers’ second semi-final but will be available for either the preliminary or grand final.