Carlton fans were kept well past their bed time on Thursday night thanks to a marathon hearing at the AFL Appeals Board.
The Blues were hoping to overturn the AFL Tribunal’s decision on Tuesday, which upheld the Match Review Officer’s decision to suspend Patrick Cripps for two games for his bump which left Lion Callum Ah Chee concussed.
Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
A grading of careless conduct with high impact and high contact was handed down and upheld by the Tribunal.
The Blues’s lawyers went full filibuster mode, as submissions lasted for two hours and 45 minutes before the Board then went to deliberate for nearly two hours.
Cripps’ chances of having his suspension dropped increased with every passing minute and finally at 10.40pm, it was announced he was cleared to play against Melbourne on Saturday.
AFL fans were bemused by the remarkably long proceedings and equally surprised Cripps was cleared to play.
CODE Sports’ Daniel Cherny tweeted: “If the appeal is still going when the game starts can Cripps play?”
The Age’s Greg Baum joked: “Will Cripps get a discount for time already served?”
Richard Hinds said: “I’ve tried turning the AFL Appeals Board off and on but there’s still no Cripps decision.”
The decision is a huge boost to the Blues, who are seventh on the ladder but face the Demons and the high flying Magpies in the last two rounds of the season.
“The finding was unreasonable and did not comply with the requirements of procedural fairness,” said the Appeals Board chairman Murray Kellman.
Originally published as AFL erupts over marathon 4.5hr Patrick Cripps appeal hearing