Enniskillen Town joint manager Rory Judge says that they feel vindicated after their appeal on the Fermanagh and Western’s decision to award Beragh Swifts the points and fine the club after they failed to fulfil the league fixture between the clubs at the start of the season was upheld by the IFA Appeals’ Board.

Town had requested a postponement of the game as they had three players who had tested positive for Covid-19 and another five who were self isolating but their request was turned down by the league’s Emergency Committee.

On the day of the match, the league were asked by Town to reconsider their position not to grant a postponement as a further two players had tested positive but the Emergency Committee remained with its original decision.

Town subsequently sought medical advice and on the grounds of player welfare they didn’t field and the points were awarded to Beragh Swifts.

But a week later a further request to postpone their next game was granted by the Fermanagh and Western and this, along with the league not having any Covid-19 policy in place for clubs played a part in the Appeals Board ruling in favour of Enniskillen Town.

The Appeals’ Board ruled: “The ‘Appellant’ was tasked with making an assessment on how best to address the issue of fielding a team. We note the ‘League’ did not have any Covid-19 policy or guidance for clubs finding themselves in the position of dealing with Covid -19 infection outbreaks amongst its players. In the absence of any clear steer from the ‘League’ on Covid -19 outbreaks, and the fact the ‘Appellant’ successfully obtained a postponement of a subsequent match on grounds of a similar nature within a week of this case leads us to the unanimous view it was unfair to penalise this appellant due to the absence of clear Covid -19 guidance.”

The game is now to be rescheduled by the Fermanagh and Western.

“We feel vindicated about appealing the decision,” said Judge. “But we don’t think that it should have come to this, we felt that we had to fight for something that we thought was straight forward.

“I thought the Association should have been supporting us as a stakeholder.

“We felt we we were left on our own to go and find this stuff out because there was no protocols in place,” he added.