By Justin Flynn
Two Bellarine Peninsula cricket players have been suspended for 12 months after a brawl that caused a D-grade match to be abandoned.
A Bellarine Peninsula Cricket Association (BPCA) tribunal on Monday night suspended Queenscliff’s Michael Farrell and Portarlington’s Liam Vagg for a year for their roles in the brawl on February 20.
Farrell and Vagg were found guilty by the tribunal of assaulting a player, both verbally and physically, and were suspended until the end of the 2021/2022 season.
They were also found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute and were each given an additional 10-game suspended sentence effective for five years.
Initially the BPCA stripped both clubs of their premiership points following the brawl at Portarlington Recreation Reserve.
But the tribunal overturned the decision allowing both clubs to play in the D-grade semifinals this Saturday.
Portarlington finished on top of the ladder and Queenscliff finished second.
The BPCA last week fined both clubs $12,500 each with $10,000 suspended for five years, but the tribunal reduced this to $6875 with $5000 suspended for two years.
The marathon tribunal, which ended at 2.30am on Tuesday, handed out several punishments to other players involved in the brawl.
Portarlington’s Ben Deluca was found guilty of verbal and physical assault and bringing the game into disrepute, receiving a 10-game suspension and a 10-game suspended sentence for five years.
Portarlington’s Jack Connelly and Shaun McPherson were suspended for two matches and given a five-game suspended sentence for two years.
Queenscliff’s Matthew Toohey was handed a five-game suspended sentence for two years for bringing the game into disrepute.
Joe Farrell and Sam Smith, who were spectators and are involved with Queenscliff Cricket Club, were also handed sanctions.
Farrell was suspended for two matches for assault plus a five-match suspended sentence for two years for bringing the game into disrepute.
Smith was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute and received a five-match suspended sentence for two years.
All suspensions are effective immediately.