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Ex-Tyrone minor ace Conor McKenna hit with a ban after biting AFL rival

 

By John Campbell

Former Tyrone minor player Conor McKenna has been suspended for three weeks from the Australian Football League after pleading guilty to biting an opponent.

The Essendon defender, who was just recently awarded a new contract with the club, was charged with serious misconduct and referred directly to an AFL tribunal following an incident involving Western Bulldogs forward Tory Dickson at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

At yesterday's hearing, McKenna - who first came to prominence with the Eglish club with whom he played before embarking on his career in the AFL - entered a guilty plea and was handed a three-week suspension.

It will rule him out of Essendon's forthcoming important fixtures against Port Adelaide, Collingwood and Melbourne.

A statement from Dickson was read to the tribunal in which he said he felt "a quick nip" to the neck during a tussle with McKenna on the ground.

He sustained a red mark but his skin was not broken and he did not require medical treatment.

Acting as a character witness for McKenna, former Kerry and AFL star Tadhg Kennelly said that the 22-year-old is a superstar back home and that the incident was out of character.

Following the hearing, McKenna said: "I take responsibility for my actions. I'm very sorry for what I've done and am looking forward to moving on and getting on with the season."

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