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Down manager Burns facing eight-week ban after altercation with Cavan player


By Declan Bogue

Down manager Eamonn Burns will be nervously awaiting the contents of the referee's report from Saturday night's Division Two clash with Cavan, with a possible suspension looming.

The Bryansford man was seen pushing Cavan attacker Oisin Kiernan in a minor incident along the sideline of Kingspan Breffni Park following a dispute over a line ball.

He did so in close proximity of matchday referee Padraig O'Sullivan, who sent Burns to the stand for the rest of the game, coming as it did just prior to half-time in Down's defeat.

If O'Sullivan's report contains details of the incident, Burns could be heading for an eight-week suspension for becoming involved in an infraction with a player, as according to Rule 7.2 (c).

There is a local precedent with these matters, with Derry boss Damian Barton banned from the touchline for eight weeks following an altercation with a Tyrone player during the 2016 Dr McKenna Cup final.

If Burns gets the same punishment, it will leave Down without their manager - conditions of the suspension mean you are not allowed to communicate with your players during the game - in the remaining fixtures against Tipperary, this Sunday in Newry, and away to Meath on the final day of the league season.

With Tipp flying at present, having defeated Louth 2-17 to 0-9 at the weekend and firmly in the hunt for promotion, a win over the Premier County would be a shock, while Meath are also mired in the relegation struggle, one point off Down's tally of four.

Down are level on points with Clare, but they have bottom side Louth to come, so the Mournemen's grip on Division Two status could be under threat.

Meanwhile, Tyrone defender Padraig Hampsey has revealed that widespread criticism of the Red Hands following their one-point loss to Monaghan in Castleblayney a fortnight ago spurred them on to victory against Donegal.

"Our performance was an improvement, even though I think we've been playing fairly well despite getting a lot of criticism," said the Coalisland man.

"I think we're going well, this win was a good win and hopefully we'll take it into next week as well.

"Mayo next weekend is going to be another big game for us. Tyrone always get it tough against them because they're a good side."

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