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Justin Chadwick

Star Cat McDonald wins at AFLW Tribunal

Amy McDonald (c) has successfully challenged her one-match ban for a dump tackle on Steph Cain. (Rob Prezioso/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Geelong star Amy McDonald is free to play in Saturday's clash with West Coast after having her one-match ban for a dump tackle overturned at the AFLW Tribunal.

The two-time best and fairest winner landed in hot water for the tackle that saw Essendon's Steph Cain land on her head and neck.

Although Cain was able to play on straight away, the incident was assessed as careless, medium impact and high contact, resulting in a one-match ban.

McDonald pleaded not guilty to the rough conduct charge, with her lawyer Adrian Anderson arguing it was Cain's resistance to the tackle - in which she tried to stay upright by planting her right leg - that led to her toppling head first into the turf.

In evidence, McDonald conceded it wasn't a great look when a player's head hits the ground but claimed she did everything within her powers to stop it happening.

"I felt like initially I laid a very standard and safe tackle," McDonald said.

"My opponent tried to fight the tackle in a really unusual way. I believe it was out of my control and there was nothing else I could have done in that moment.

"I felt as though I did everything I could to try to protect my opponent when I felt the momentum was taking us forward.

"I was trying to counteract that by shifting her sideways towards me.

"I didn't lift her. And at all times I actually remained lower than her throughout the whole tackle."

Andrew Woods, acting on behalf of the AFLW, said the tackle was unreasonable and deserved a suspension.

Tribunal chair Renee Enbom said the unusual movement of Cain planting her foot was a major contributor to her tumbling head first.

Given this, Enbom dismissed the charge against McDonald.

In other disciplinary matters, Carlton veteran Elise O'Dea accepted a one-match suspension for striking St Kilda's Hannah Priest.

Richmond's Meagan Kiely, Alyce Parker of GWS and Collingwood's Ruby Schleicher all accepted reprimands.

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