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Cliftonville footballer Bonner loses teeth after being elbowed in face during match

By Cate McCurry

A Cliftonville footballer suffered horrific injuries after he was elbowed in the face during an Irish Premiership match last weekend.

Caoimhin Bonner was left without two teeth after a clash with Portadown defender Ken Oman on Saturday.

The Ports defender was yesterday handed a six-match suspension following the incident.

It is understood the cost of dental repair was more than £5,000. Bonner also had to undergo restructuring of the bones around his mouth.

Former Cliftonville striker Chris Scannell, who now works as a dentist, is believed to have carried out the procedure following the injury.

Reds manager Gerard Lyttle said he applauded the Irish FA for acting so swiftly.

"I think it's brilliant," he added. "It augers well for the Irish League when such action is taken quickly. Caoimhin is not in good shape - he can't eat properly and is in pain.

"I'm going to lose a player for a few weeks at least, but hopefully he can recover well. He's a warrior and he won't be out for long. I know the Irish FA has been criticised for their responses in the past, but I welcome this action.

"Unfortunately, we had our captain, Jason McGuinness, sent off for an alleged headbutt in the same game and there's a chance of a six-match ban, but when you compare the two challenges there is a huge difference.

"There is also the feeling that Caoimhin has a reputation and if the shoe was on the other foot he would get a heavy ban.

"There was an incident last year at Windsor Park when he was the victim of a horrendous tackle that went unpunished."

When asked about whether Portadown should cover the cost of the medical bill, he said: "That's for the clubs to look at. Caoimhin will not be rushed back into action as we need to think about his wellbeing as well as the injury."

Cliftonville fans called for the IFA to punish Oman retrospectively after match referee Evan Boyce took no action.

An IFA statement said: "The committee considered the correspondence with the footage and decided to charge Ken Oman with a breach of the disciplinary code and sanction him with a six-match ban."

Portadown was also fined £100 by the disciplinary committee.

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