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Dromore ban appeal fails

By John Campbell

The bid by Tyrone league and championship title-holders Dromore to have their suspension from participation in next season's top four league play-offs lifted has failed.

The Tyrone Hearings Committee met to consider Dromore's appeal against this sanction which was proposed among other penalties by the Tyrone Competitions Control Committee after the violence which marred the recent All County League final against Carrickmore.

But despite a strong plea by the Dromore club the Hearings Committee endorsed the CCC sanction.

The CCC had in fact come down hard on both clubs following its in-depth investigation into the violence. Four individuals from each club who were deemed to have been involved in the trouble in the stand at Dunmoyle received one-year suspensions while three players from the Carrickmore club were issued with bans totalling 68 weeks.

The clubs were each fined £300 and ordered to play their next two competitive fixtures against each other at a neutral venue with the proceeds going to charity.

In addition to these sanctions it was proposed that neither side should be allowed to take part in the top four play-offs for the 2012 Division One League title should they reach that stage of the competition.

It was the last-named sanction that formed the basis of the Dromore appeal while the Carrickmore club per se did not appeal against any of the sanctions imposed on it.

One of the Carrickmore players who received a red-card in the league final was long-serving goalkeeper Plunkett McCallan.

He had requested a personal hearing and subsequently had his proposed suspension of forty-eight weeks reduced to 36 weeks by the Hearings Committee.

Meanwhile at the same Hearings Committee meeting Tyrone senior player Niall McKenna was given the green light to play in tomorrow's county Under-21 football championship final.

McKenna, son of former Tyrone joint manager Eugene McKenna, will now line out for Donaghmore against Omagh St Enda's but even his imposing presence in the engine-room will not serve to dilute the Omagh side's status as warm favourites for the title.

McKenna had been sent off in the closing stages of Donaghmore's semi-final win over Dromore last weekend but his appeal to have the red card rescinded proved successful.

Tomorrow will also see the Ulster Minor Club tournament promoted by the St Paul's club in Belfast taken a stage further when Tyrone side Naomh Mhuire, an amalgamation of the Edendork and Killyman clubs, will take on Antrim side St John's.

It will be a big task for Naomh Mhuire especially as St John's won the Ulster Minor Club hurling title last weekend.

St Paul's spokesman Billy McLarnon said: "Both Naomh Mhuire and St John's have lots of talented players in their ranks and this should be one of the best matches in the tournament to date."

* Further to a report in Thursday's editions on the departure from the Down panel of midfielder Peter Fitzpatrick, we have been asked to clarify that Peter is emigrating to Australia to work.

Belfast Telegraph


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