Foggy is innocent

Date published: Tuesday, April 27, 2010

THE Rugby League will take no further action against Oldham centre Mick Fogerty, who was sent off near the end of his side’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth-round defeat at Hunslet Hawks on April 18.

That’s a massive boost for Roughyeds, who face a tough game at Doncaster next Monday (3.00pm kick off) in a real examination of the side’s championship credentials.

Fogerty too was relieved — and delighted. “I can put the whole thing behind me now and just get on with the job,” he said.

In a bad-tempered tie, Ben Heaton had been sin-binned a minute earlier — and when referee Craig Halloran produced the red card for Fogerty, Roughyeds were down to 11 men at a time when either side could have gone on to win it.

With ten minutes left Hunslet led 20-12, but when Heaton and Fogerty had gone they ran in four quick tries to win 42-12.

Fogerty, dismissed on the intervention of a touchjudge, was alleged to have kicked an opponent in an off-the-ball incident, but he immediately protested his innocence and subsequently won the support of his coach Tony Benson after the Roughyeds team boss had studied the incident on DVD.

The ‘kicking’ slur hung over the player for nearly a week before Fogerty heard a whisper that his case was to be thrown out.

Now the RFL has confirmed on its website that he will not be charged. The ruling stops short of declaring him innocent but says the match DVD was ‘inconclusive as to contact’ and that Fogerty will merely receive a caution.

In-form Fogerty has played at left centre in each of Oldham’s 12 cup and league games this year and has scored nine tries — only one fewer than top scorer Lucas Onyango — as well as making a lot more for his winger.

“I’m obviously delighted,” said Fogerty, “because I didn’t kick anybody. I wouldn’t do that. It’s not me. I was obstructed while trying to get to the Hunslet ball carrier. I pulled the bloke across me and that was it. Where the kicking came from I don’t know.

“I heard before the Gateshead game last Saturday that I wasn’t to be charged. That was a big relief. It wasn’t on my mind any more and I think I played better as a result.

“Things are going really well and we think they will go even better once we get established in our new home at Whitebank.”