Hefty fines expected after battle of Owenbeg

Tom Comacksport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Donegal hurling champions Sean MacCumhaill’s and their Ulster Junior Hurling championship opponents Lamh Dhearg are expected to face hefty sanctions following last Sunday’s Ulster Junior Hurling final.

The final was played in Owenbeg, Derry and the end of the game was marred by a number of ugly melees.

And again at the final whistle referee, Barry Winter from Tyrone and stewards escorting him were confronted by angry supporters as they made their way to the dressing room.

The Ulster Council confirmed last night that they had received a copy of a dvd of the game and were awaiting the referee’s report.

“We have a dvd of the game and once we receive the referee’s report we will consider both and then take a decision as to what is the next step,” Ulster PRO, Michael Geoghegan, told the Democrat yesterday afternoon.

The first melee broke out in the closing minutes of the keenly contested encounter won by Lamh Dhearg on a 0-16 to 0-13 scoreline.

The melee, involving players and mentors, lasted for several minutes and also spilled over into the main stand where scuffles broke out between opposing supporters.

Following this incident both teams were reduced to 13 players.

Paddy Hannigan (for a second yellow card offence) and Gerard Gilmore (straight red) were the MacCumhaill’s players who received their marching orders.

Declan Lynch and Paddy Mervyn, both straight red cards, were the Lamh Dearg players who were dismissed.

The second incident broke out shortly after the first and with a little over five minutes remaining. This involved a number of fights involving players and mentors from the two sides.

This incident too spilled over into the stand and more scuffles between both sets of supporters.

Sean MacCumhaill’s supporters and management were unhappy with the referee’s performance.

And the MacCumhaill’s manager Eamon McAuley made his dissatisfaction with the Tyrone official known.

“Everytime we came back into it and got back to two or three points he was giving a handy free (to Lamh Dhearg) and I’m sorry to say, the hurling was not let be played today,” said the MacCumhaill’s boss.

McAuley also pointed to a decision late in he game and before the first melee when the official awarded a free to MacCumhaill’s.

And then when the play resumed after the melee he awarded Lamh Dhearg a line ball.

“When I asked him about it after the match, he said he forgot. And that was a guaranteed point for Lee Henderson,” added the MacCumhaill’s boss.

A decision on the Ulster Council course of action is expected in the next few days.