Patrick Cripps runs with his jersey torn heavily at the shoulder

Carlton star Patrick Cripps successfully overturns judicial verdict, is free to play against Melbourne

Carlton’s finals hopes have received a huge boost after Captain Patrick Cripps had his two-match suspension overturned at the AFL Tribunal Appeals Board.

Cripps was unsuccessful in overturning a rough conduct charge at the AFL Tribunal on Tuesday night, and his hearing at the Appeals Board on Thursday night loomed as his final hope of having his two-match suspension squashed.

The 27-year-old’s airborne collision, which left Brisbane’s Callum Ah Chee with concussion, was graded as careless, high impact and high contact.

Christopher Townshend QC, acting for Cripps, argued that there was a “denial of natural justice” because AFL Court chairman Jeff Gleeson failed to give directions to the jury on Tuesday night before they retired to consider their verdict.

Townshend said Gleeson himself had created confusion by effectively stating Cripps’ action was a bump.