Friday 24 November 2017

South Tipp Board feelheat after latest brawl

Jackie Cahill

OFFICIALS in South Tipperary have launched an investigation after a match was abandoned in the division for the fourth time this year.

Referee Donie Cahill has submitted his match report to board officials after he called a halt to the South SFC clash between Killenaule and Clonmel Commercials at Ballyporeen last Tuesday evening.

It is alleged that Killenaule player John O'Dwyer, a member of Tipperary's U-21 All-Ireland-winning hurling team, was struck near the touchline as the game approached a conclusion.

O'Dwyer sustained a broken jaw in a club game in 2009, but despite some initial concern that he had suffered a similar fate, the injury he sustained on Tuesday is believed not to be as serious as first feared.

The South Tipperary Board is now coming under increasing pressure to consider the expulsion of teams from competitions after this latest violent incident.

Heavy fines and suspensions could be dished out, but a plethora of serious incidents in the area is a growing concern and a problem that has proven difficult to address.

South Board secretary Noel Byrne said that he would not comment until he studies the report from referee Cahill.

The Killenaule-Clonmel clash is a tie that should have been played some months ago, but was delayed because of a fixtures logjam.

Sources close to referee Cahill have revealed that what took place was a "serious incident" and that he had no hesitation in terminating the match after a melee broke out.

It is understood that the game had been played in a sporting manner until the flashpoint and according to sources, the players on the pitch had "little to do with it".

Last month, former All-Ireland SHC final referee Willie Barrett abandoned a match in South Tipperary for the second time this year when calling a halt to the South U-21 hurling semi-final between Ballingarry and Moyle Rovers.

Last April, Barrett called off the South SHC clash involving Carrick Davin and Ballingarry when he was struck with a hurley by a man who had rushed from the crowd.

Also this year, referee Derek O'Mahoney terminated a junior football championship match between Newcastle and Ballylooby when a brawl broke out.

Irish Independent

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