WANGARATTA ruckman Zac Leitch will miss the Magpies shot at their second Ovens and Murray league premiership in three years after being suspended for two matches at the tribunal on Wednesday night.
Leitch was found guilty of carelessly striking Lavington dynamo Shaun Mannagh in the second quarter of the second semi-final at Birallee Park last Saturday.
Mannagh was left concussed from the incident and whether he plays in the preliminary final on Sunday will hinge largely on a visit to a doctor in Melbourne on Thursday, but in his evidence to the tribunal he said he had not worked this week and was still experiencing headaches and dizziness as a result of the knock.
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In better news for the Magpies, midfielder Matt Kelly was cleared of a careless striking charge on Lavington coach Simon Curtis, who also beat the same charge on Magpie tagger Will Reilly.
Both incidents happened within seconds of eachother in the second quarter.
But, Curtis will miss the preliminary final against Myrtleford after being found guilty of carelessly striking Magpie Michael Bordignon in the last quarter.
He was rubbed out for two matches, but one of those has been suspended for 12 months..
The Panthers face the prospect of taking on the Saints without two of their primemovers in Curtis and Mannagh.
Lavington has until 2pm on Friday to lodge an appeal to try and overturn the ban.
Panthers advocate Iain Findlay said contact was made to Bordignon with an open hand and the force was insufficient to warrant a charge.
Umpires advocate Jason Sofield also thought it was "low impact" with no umpires called as witnesses.
But in his evidence Bordignon said he felt a blow to the back of the head.
"So he has obviously hit me," Bordignon said.
His advocate Paul Dale said the incident warranted a two-match ban with tribunal chairman Wayne Taylor, in summing up, stating the evidence of the Magpies player had played a major role in arriving at a guilty verdict.
Earlier, Albury veteran Chris Hyde was suspended for one-match after pleading guilty to head-butting Myrtleford coach Jake Sharp at the three quarter time break of the first semi-final.
In his evidence to the tribunal, Leitch said he went to tackle Mannagh and became unbalanced when the Panthers' player side-stepped around him.
"There was nothing I could have done," Leitch said.
"It was definitely the last thing I wanted to happen."
Leitch's advocate Mark Deegan said the video footage "looked damning", but the initial point of contact was to the shoulder and his arm rolled up to his facial area with a further contributing factor being Mannagh's knees dropping slightly.
Deegan hoped the tribunal panel would consider a severe reprimand for Leitch.
He can also appeal his suspension, but the length and nature of the incident maybe a stumbling block for the Magpies, who are already through to the grand final.
All cases from the second semi-final were brought before the tribunal via the match review panel after no reports were laid on the day by umpires.
Umpires requested the Leitch case be looked at with the three others brought on by clubs.
Curtis has been cited by the Magpies three times in only two seasons in the O and M.
In evidence presented during the Reilly incident, Curtis said he was trying to create separation between the Magpies player and Mannagh when contact was made, but there was no clenched fist involved and the incident would happen "50 times a game at a stoppage".
But Reilly said he graded the force of the blow he suffered a "6/7 out of 10".