*Photograph:Joe Buckley

NEWMARKET Celtic’s Darragh Leahy has received a fifty game ban.

Leahy is on course to be suspended for two years after the Clare District Soccer League (CDSL) clamped down on indiscipline shown in the aftermath of Newmarket Celtic’s Clare Cup final loss to Avenue Utd.

In footage that circulated online following Avenue’s penalty shootout win over Newmarket Celtic, Leahy is shown throwing punches at up to three Avenue squad members, Stephen Jordan, Conor Mullen and Jamie Roche. These actions were despite the attempts of Celtic manager Paddy Purcell to restrain Leahy.

None of the Avenue trio reacted at the time while one member of their squad had to be pulled back and family members of those hit voiced their disgust.

Officials in the CDSL had been coming under pressure to try stamp out such events with tensions between both clubs high during their meetings this season. The heavy-handed suspension indicates that such behaviour cannot be tolerated.

Leahy had previously struck Mullen in the head during the side’s meeting in the Hugh Kelly Cup final while suspensions were dished out to Gearoid O’Brien and Mikey Dinan following their meeting in the FAI Junior Cup, a game that Avenue won but was the scene of unsavoury scenes after Steven McGann scored the winning goal and substitute Dinan ran onto the field.

With the onset of a fifty game ban, Leahy will be unavailable for Newmarket Celtic for the next two seasons and his future at the club is in doubt.

When Celtic won a historic FAI Junior Cup title last April, the Shannon native was a key cog in their wheel and produced many decisive moments on their way to victory.

Following this success, Darragh signed for Ballynanty Rovers but this turned out to be a brief spell with the Limerick club and he returned to Newmarket in January.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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