BY CHRIS MCNULTY
DRUMKEEN United’s bid to win their first-ever Ulster Senior League title has been rocked with midfielder Chris Kyle facing the prospect of missing all bar one of his side’s remaining seven games because of a suspension.
Twice in recent weeks, Kyle was shown a straight red card and is now facing the wrath of the USL’s disciplinary committee.
The midfielder was sent off in the 2-1 win over Finn Harps on June 16th and, two weeks later, was dismissed just 19 minutes into the top-of-the-table clash against Cockhill Celtic at St Patrick’s Park.
Kyle is serving three games, slapped down by the Disciplinary body.
Two of those were Sunday’s 4-3 win over Swilly and last night’s game against Fanad United in Tri-A-Loch.
He will serve the last of the additional games for his first dismissal when Drumkeen host Letterkenny Rovers next weekend.
However, Mickey Rogers will then be without him for the next ‘automatic’ ban for the red card collected against Cockhill when his team takes on Derry City in August.
Before then, the USL Disciplinary body will meet to determine the severity of the suspenion they will add to that.
After the Derry City clash, Drumkeen will only have four games left. The standard punishment for a red card for that offence, an over-the-top tackle, would be two games, which would rule him out of the games against Finn Harps and Fanad United. However, for a repeat offender, they could take a dim view and add a further game, the away trip to Swilly Rovers. Effectively, in a League that runs for only 16 games, the player will miss at least half of the schedule, which draws into question the timelines of these suspensions.
Either way, it will be September before Drumkeen can next call upon the energetic midfielder, who had been a first-choice player for the side, but he will be eligible again for Drumkeen’s final game of the season. What a game that could be too: they are away to Cockhill Celtic.
Elsewhere, Finn Harps duo Thomas McBride and Micheál Doherty are in the middle of serving three-game bans.
Overall, the discipline in the League has been good so far.
Disciplinary Secretary Dessie Kelly said: “On the whole, discipline hasn’t been bad this season at all. It’s very good actually. To date, we have only had 13 red cards and just three players have collected four bookings.”