May escapes ban for Higgins gut punch

Roger Vaughan
Gold Coast co-captain Steven May has avoided an AFL suspension

Gold Coast co-captain Steven May has escaped AFL suspension for the gut punch that collected North Melbourne star Shaun Higgins.

May can accept a $2000 fine for the incident, which incurred the wrath of coach Stuart Dew.

The Suns key defender was among 12 players to be fined after the weekend's games.

Brisbane captain Dayne Zorko was also fined $2000 for his contact to the eye of Carlton counterpart Marc Murphy.

May's teammate Alex Sexton was charged with misconduct and fined $1500 for an incident where he also hit Higgins behind play.

The Suns were only 11 points behind in the third term on Sunday when May hit Higgins and gave away a free kick.

Higgins goalled and North went on to win by 37 points, handing Gold Coast their 10th-straight loss.

"As a captain, you know that you let the team down in that moment," Dew said post-match.

May's fine comes four rounds after Fremantle onballer Michael Walters served a one-game ban for gut punching Adelaide defender Jake Kelly.

Walters' hit was graded as medium impact, while May escaped with a fine because his strike was ruled to be low impact.

"Visually, it looked harder and it looked more forceful," match reviewer Michael Christian said of the Walters incident.

"Jake Kelly was certainly more impeded by what had happened. We also take into account the medical report."

Melbourne veteran Jordan Lewis can accept a $2000 fine for striking Walters - the 17th report of his career.

Port Adelaide veteran Brad Ebert, Hawthorn defender Blake Hardwick, Melbourne key forward Jesse Hogan and Demons co-captain Nathan Jones can also accept fines for misconduct charges.

Port Adelaide Lindsay Thomas was fined $2000 for rough conduct.

Brisbane's Rhys Mathieson, St Kilda forward Jade Gresham and North Melbourne midfielder Ben Cunnington are out of pocket for umpire contact.