Belfast Telegraph

Irish League trio handed six-match bans after ugly brawl


Banned: Dungannon’s Seanan Clucas
Banned: Dungannon’s Seanan Clucas
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

Three players have been handed six-game bans for their role in a post-match brawl following a Danske Bank Premiership tie.

Dungannon Swifts midfielder Seanan Clucas and Institute duo Niall Grace and Gareth Brown were shown red cards as players clashed after the sides' fixture on December 21.

The Irish Football Association has now imposed heavy suspensions on each player.

Institute have indicated they will appeal the punishments.

An Irish FA spokesman said: "All three players were charged under Article 24 (participating in a brawl) following the melee and given a six-match suspension commencing Monday January 13.

"Dungannon accepted the charge but Institute have challenged the charges against both players so these will be lifted pending the hearing outcome."

Article 24 of the Irish FA Disciplinary Code states: "A brawl is defined as three or more people who participate in serious violent conduct. Anyone who participates in a brawl will be sanctioned with a suspension of at least six matches."

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In total, four players were dismissed before and after the final whistle of the match at Stangmore Park.

The Swifts, who had seen defender Dougie Wilson red-carded during the game, had scored a late equaliser through Michael Carvill to claim a 2-2 draw.

After the final whistle, players from both sides were involved in ugly scenes, with Clucas and Institute duo Brown and Grace - who has since joined Ulster Senior League side Bonagee United - shown red.

Reacting to Clucas's ban, Dungannon boss Kris Lindsay said: "It is disappointing, we are going to be without Seanan for a long stretch. If all our games go ahead as scheduled, he may not be back until the end of February.

"It is frustrating, but we just have to deal with it.

"We will work with the players available. While it is disappointing to lose Seanan, it has happened and we have to move on."

Dungannon face league leaders Linfield this weekend, needing points to move away from the relegation places.

Lindsay added: "It's a difficult, difficult ask but we need to be going there looking to get something from the game."

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