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Shield Semi-final Ref ‘Rested’?

No game this weekend for ref at centre of shoot-out confusion...

08/10/16 IRN BRU CUP FOURTH ROUND .FORFAR v THE NEW SAINTS .STATION PARK - FORFAR .Referee Evan Boyce
Evan Boyce.... Rested
Photo by Paul Devlin - SNS Group\SNS Group via Getty Images

Evan Boyce, the referee at the centre of last Tuesday’s Co Antrim Shield semi-final drama involving Cliftonville and Linfield appears to have been rested from Irish League duty, but it’s nothing to do with his handling of that evening’s penalty-shoot-out.

The experienced referee is not down to officiate at any game this weekend in the Danske Bank Premier, Lough41 Championship or Lough41 Premier Intermediate Leagues.

The decision appeared to have already been taken following last weekend’s incident at Mourneview Park when Mr Boyce dismissed Crusaders’ Robbie Weir in a case of mistaken identity.

On that occasion the referee showed what he felt was a second yellow card (and of course a red) to the Crusaders player, who actually hadn’t previously been booked. The error was later confirmed and Weir’s red card rescinded.

Crusaders, level at 0-0 at the time, went on to lose the game 0-1.

So disgruntled Reds fans from Tuesday evening then may ask why he took control of their semi-final against Linfield. The answer’s simple - it’s the Co Antrim FA who appoint the officials to their own competition, not NIFL nor the IFA’s Referees Committee.

That said, Mr Boyce and his team of officials did eventually arrive at the correct decision on Tuesday evening, more than can be said for Weir’s dismissal at Glenavon, when the rest of his officiating team including two assistants and the 4th official, also failed to spot the error.
It’s unclear if Mr Boyce’s supporting cast from Mourneview is also rested.

IFA Head of Refereeing Trevor Moutray did not confirm Evan Boyce had been temporarily stepped down however alluded to the fact such issues are dealt with in-house...

“If a match official makes a mistake it depends what degree the mistake is and if it is recognised and accepted by the match official then there’s a process with regards to future appointments. Therefore a referee can expect possibly to not be used on the next match day depending what the issue is.”