COROWA-Rutherglen dodged a bullet at the Ovens and Murray tribunal last night when defender Lachlan McLarty was cleared of striking Lavington star Luke Garland.
McLarty, who was sent from the ground for flooring Garland during Saturday’s 37-point loss to the Panthers, escaped suspension due to a lack of evidence.
The video presented clearly showed McLarty knock Garland to the ground, however, did not show a striking action.
The tribunal asked reporting umpire Joe Knight if he wished to amend the charge prior to the hearing.
He chose not to, maintaining he had seen McLarty strike Garland to the face with a fist.
McLarty was adamant he had not struck Garland, a suggestion Garland backed up by phone.
Garland told the tribunal he had “the wind taken out of him” after McLarty took exception to being taken high by Garland in the dying stages of the third quarter on Saturday.
“It was more of a charge, if I can say that,” Garland said.
McLarty, who is enjoying a strong season in defence under new coach Bryce Campbell, is free to line up against Wangaratta on Saturday.