Ballinderry trio handed 12 months bans following Derry final row

Trouble erupted after Slaughtneil beat Ballinderry at Celtic Park
Ballinderry were infuriated by Slaughtneil's controversial late winning goal at Celtic Park

Ballinderry players Aaron Devlin, Michael Conlan and Gareth McKinless have been suspended for a year following the disturbances at the recent Derry county football final.

Match officials were jostled following Slaughtneil's last-gasp win which came after a controversial late goal.

In addition to the three 12 month bans, Ballinderry's pitch will be closed to adult men's games for a year.

Devlin's ban is understood to have been imposed arising from Twitter comments.

Derry county player Devlin made critical comments about the match officials on the social media outlet and his 12-month ban arising from his tweets is believed to a first for the GAA.

Collie Devlin and James Conway have received one-match championship bans.

Ballinderry chairman Stephen McGeehan
"The club co-operated fully with Derry GAA and regret and apologise for scenes around the county final."

McKinless was part of Derry's county panel this year while keeper Conlan, Collie Devlin and James Conway have all played for the Oak Leaf senior team.

Derry's GAA disciplinary authorities are also understood to have handed bans to several supporters arising from the post-match disturbances at Celtic Park.

Match officials, including referee Anthony Campbell, were jostled and pushed by spectators after Slaughtneil were awarded a disputed late goal.

Ballinderry were seconds away from a fourth straight Derry title when the game erupted into controversy.

Gerard Bradley kicked the ball towards goal and the umpire at the post signalled that it had crossed the line for a match-winning goal, a decision accepted by Campbell.

Tempers then flared at the re-start and in the melee following an ugly challenge, Ballinderry's McKinless was sent off.

Ballinderry chairman Stephen McGeehan told BBC Sport that club officials will meet on Wednesday evening to discuss possible appeals.

The club has until Friday evening to submit appeals.

"The club co-operated fully with Derry GAA and regret and apologise for scenes around the county final," added the Ballinderry chairman.

"The sanctions seem very severe but no decision will be taken until the executive committee meets on Wednesday night."

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