Derry ace Eoin Bradley in the dock and facing long ban
While Down portrayed Ulster football in a glowing light on Sunday two other counties in the province are today experiencing the murkier underbelly of the sport now that they are confronted with major disciplinary issues.
Both the Derry and Tyrone Competitions Control Committees will convene this week to investigate incidents which marred important championship matches in their respective counties over the course of the weekend.
Glenullin and Derry player Eoin Bradley could face a lengthy ban following his alleged assault on referee Declan O’Connor after Glenullin had been beaten by Ballinascreen (3-2 to 1-7) in the quarter-finals of the county championship on Saturday at Foreglen.
Derry’s CCC is awaiting the report of referee O’Connor on the match and this will be discussed at its meeting. It is believed indeed that some county board officials were present at the game.
Bradley was one of Derry’s most consistent players this year and had been in fine form for his club until their exit from the county championship. Should the CCC find him guilty of assaulting the referee, he could face a 48-week ban.
And Tyrone’s All Ireland winning full-back Justin McMahon was among players dismissed while assisting Omagh to their 2-2 to 0-7 win over Ardboe in the county championship — a match which saw McMahon’s county colleague Brian McGuigan, a Tyrone icon and one of Ardboe’s key players, sustain a blow from behind at the very start. He was nonetheless able to play a full part in the tie. McMahon’s dismissal was not related to this particular incident.
The game, in which the exchanges were never less than frenetic, culminated in an unsavoury skirmish involving players from both clubs.
The Tyrone Competitions Control Committee is now set to take a firm line with those found guilty of transgressing during the tempestuous contest.
The Competitions Control Committee will view a DVD of the game and consider in full the report of match referee Eugene McConnell before deciding what action it will take.
A source close to the CCC revealed last night that the whole matter will be dealt with “very swiftly in the best interests of Tyrone football.”