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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

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Cumbrian rugby player suspended for punching fan

A rugby union player has received a month-long suspension for striking a spectator during a match.

Aspatria forward Derek Benson has been suspended by the Cumbria Rugby Football Union following an incident during a match between Carlisle and Aspatria at the city’s rugby club ground on Warwick Road on March 31.

He has been banned from playing until December 14 following a meeting of the disciplinary panel.

John Heyworth, Aspatria RUFC, said that no criminal charges had been brought against Benson and that the club had “no comment” to make about the disciplinary panel’s judgement.

The News & Star reported on April 5 that a man in the crowd climbed over the barrier and rained down blows on the linesman Michael Ray, official touch judge for Aspatria RUFC, as the home side were trailing by 11 points against Aspatria.

It is understood that the incident was followed by a fracas in which the spectator who is alleged to have attacked the linesman sustained a broken jaw.

Four men were arrested and three other men were released without charge.

Carlisle rugby club has already been disciplined for “conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game” following the alleged incident at their home ground when Mr Ray was left with a broken nose.

He has now stepped down from his role as the official touch judge for Aspatria RUFC, the club confirmed.

Carlisle RFC was fined £100 and ordered to pay costs of £125 for allowing an unauthorised person to enter the player enclosure.

They admitted the charge when they appeared before when two senior club officials appeared before Cumbria RFU Disciplinary Panel in September.

A decision to deduct 10 points from the club has been suspended for two years.


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