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Portadown appeal O’Hara ban

Portadown have launched an appeal against the six-match ban handed out to defender Keith O’Hara.

And manager Ronnie McFall is confident that his club’s action will be successful.

There was uncertainty surrounding just what referee Stephen Weatherall stated in his report to the Irish FA after he sent-off O’Hara in a Co-operative Insurance Cup tie against Ballinamallard United.

It has now been confirmed that the 28-year-old was reported for a headbutt, which carries a mandatory six-game ban, due to start yesterday, but the Ports launched their appeal immediately and have also forwarded a letter from the Ballinamallard player — Darren Higgingbotham — stating that he wasn’t headbutted by O’Hara.

“We’ve appealed the suspensions straight away,” confirmed the Shamrock Park boss.

“In our opinion the decision to send Keith O’Hara off for a headbutt in the first place was a disgrace. To me there is no question about that.

“Our grounds for appeal are simple because the fact is that no headbutt took place.

“Keith O’Hara isn’t that type of lad and whatever else the appeals committee may look at his previous record is unblemished and he’s never been involved in anything like this before in over ten years with us.

“In a court of law this wouldn’t get past the first step, it would be thrown out and wouldn’t even get through the door.

“We spoke to the referee after the game, but got no joy out of him.”

The Ports also have captain John Convery suspended for one match after collecting five yellow cards, but O’Hara can play under leave of appeal and he will come into the defence alongside Darren Kelly if Saturday’s game against Institute at Shamrock Park goes ahead.

The only other Carling Premiership player to receive a ban in the suspension list released by the Irish FA yesterday is Ballymena United defender Chris Ramsey, who is out for one game after picking up five bookings.

Belfast Telegraph