Star Hillwood forward Andrew Whitmore is free to play in Saturday's NTFA premier division grand final after successfully challenging a two-match suspension.
Whitmore received the ban early last week after a strike on Rocherlea utility Corey Anderson in the Sharks' thrilling semi-final victory was captured on camera.
He consequently missed Saturday's preliminary final win over Longford.
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But new evidence presented at an appeal on Tuesday night saw the penalty downgraded to a one-match ban and a suspended one-match ban, which will apply should he incur any further suspension in the next 12 months.
In challenging the original penalty, the Sharks supplied frame-by-frame footage of the incident which showed a "clearer account" of the impact, and noted that Anderson was not injured as a result of the incident, nor did he require assistance from a trainer or leave the ground.
It was also explained that Whitmore's advocate for last week's tribunal hearing was unaware that his player could have entered a guilty plea and argued the severity of the penalty, leading to the initial plea of not guilty.
Hillwood coach Nathan Lowe said overturning the tribunal's initial decision had taken some work from committee members but was the right outcome.
"Even from the initial viewing of the footage we were confident when we did appeal that we could put in a good case to have Andrew free to play," the former Uni-Mowbray boss said.
"We put it up on the big screen and went over it, analysed it and the committee's done a great job.
"They analysed it fine-tooth and they were always confident - they wouldn't have paid the $500 if they weren't confident of being able to get Andrew off and to their credit they did."
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Whitmore was kept to just a single goal when the Sharks met grand final opponent Bridgenorth in the qualifying final three weeks ago, but has kicked bags of three or more on six occasions this season.
According to Lowe, the Shark of seven years is thrilled by the prospect of again forming a lethal forward combination with Tom Bennett (39 goals from 19 games) and Jake King (33 goals from 18 games).
"Last week he was pretty upset, this week he's over the moon and just can't wait to get out there on Saturday," Lowe said.
"Andrew's our leading goalkicker for the year, and he has been for the last few years, so he's vitally important to us up forward.
"He's a hard person to match-up on and he's very strong-bodied so [with] him not playing ... I think the side did really well on Saturday without him to get into the grand final, and I think him coming in now gives us an added bonus and a bit of extra confidence we can get the job done."
Whitmore has kicked 40 goals in 18 appearances this season.
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