Star Adelaide midfielder Ebony Marinoff is free to play in round one of the AFLW after having the heaviest suspension in the competition’s history overturned during a marathon appeal hearing.

Key points:

  • Marinoff had initially been suspended for three matches following her collision with the Giants’ Brid Stack
  • Stack fractured her neck in the incident that occurred during a preseason match
  • Marinoff would have missed a third of the home-and-away season if the appeal had been dismissed

Marinoff returned to the AFL Appeals Board on Thursday night to challenge her three-match ban for forceful front-on contact, with the hearing lasting three-and-a-half hours.

The two-time premiership player was initially suspended for a collision that left Greater Western Sydney’s Irish recruit Brid Stack with a fractured neck during a practice match at Norwood Oval earlier this month.

If the appeal was unsuccessful, dual All-Australian Marinoff would have missed a third of the nine-match home-and-away season.

But Marinoff’s legal team was able to clear her of the charge after presenting evidence for almost 2 hours.

Marinoff’s appeal was adjourned last Thursday after the Crows tried to present fresh video evidence to support her challenge.

Marinoff (right) has been cleared of suspension following her successful appeal.(AAP: Roy Vandervegt, File Photo)

Crows head of women’s football Phil Harper said the club was relieved Marinoff’s suspension was thrown out.

“It was the long way round to get to this decision but, in the end, common sense prevailed,” Harper said in a statement.

“A person who’d shown a great amount of duty of care for the opposition player in this incident has rightly been found not guilty.

“We’re really pleased for Ebony and can’t wait to see her on the field on Saturday.

“While we agree with this outcome, Ebony and the Club feel for Brid Stack in this situation and wish her all the best.”

The Crows play West Coast in their season opener in Perth on Saturday.



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