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Louth blow as star Lennon ruled out for year

LOUTH footballers have been dealt a devastating league and championship setback with confirmation that Shane Lennon will be sidelined for the rest of the year.

The talented target man must go under the knife next month after an MRI scan revealed the full severity of his hip problem. It was initially thought that Lennon's injury was a wear-and-tear osteitis pubis condition, but Louth boss Peter Fitzpatrick has now revealed a more drastic diagnosis.

"Unfortunately Shane won't be able to play again for Louth until next year's National League," Fitzpatrick confirmed.

"There is an ingrowing bone in his hip and he's having an operation on Holy Thursday (April 5).

"It's a huge blow for Louth and, of course, for Shane himself," he added.

THE Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) has recommended a 'shopping list' of potential punishments for county teams that engage in mass brawls or other serious disciplinary breaches - including the forfeiture of a league point.

The independent arbitration body has also suggested that the guilty party could be forced to play its next home match behind closed doors or at a neutral venue.

A series of sentencing guidelines was spelled out by the DRA in its judgegment on the recent case successfully taken by the Monaghan county board arising from a mass melee involving the Farney footballers and Kildare at Clones.

The decision that Monaghan should forfeit home advantage for their next home match (against Louth) was quashed by a DRA panel, which ruled that the Central Hearings Committee had "usurped the expressly reserved scheduling and fixture role of the CCCC (Central Competitions Control Committee) with respect to the National Football League."

However, in acknowledging the CHC's right to tackle disorderly behaviour, the DRA provided a list of potential penalties for the CHC to consider arising from "disruptive conduct by players, team officials or supporters (not causing the premature termination of a game)".

They included warnings, fines, match-day restrictions (such as those imposed on Tyrone club Derrytresk recently).