A 21-game ban for fighting an opponent and a fan

Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov addresses his players during a timeout in a match against Bracknell.
Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov addresses his players during a timeout in a match against Bracknell.
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The head coach of Bracknell Bees and a number of their players have been hit with suspensions following their thuggish behaviour towards Peterborough Phantoms following a big cup fixture last week (February 20).

The city team triumphed 3-2 in Berkshire in the second leg of an NIHL South Cup semi-final to seal a 9-7 aggregate triumph.

But the success was soured when several Phantoms players were set upon by Bees men following the final buzzer – with some of the unsavoury scenes since being shared on social media.

A total of 198 penalty minutes were dished out to Bracknell players with the chief culprit Ryan Watt banned for a total of 21 games.

He was given match penalties for fighting (which has earned a six-match suspension) and physically engaging with a spectator (an offence with a 10-game punishment).

Watt has been handed further suspensions of two and three games for reaching 10 and 15 penalty points under a totting up procedure.

Brothers Brendan and Joe Baird also received match penalties for fighting and were issued with four-game bans, while Ben Paynter got a two-game suspensions for picking up three separate misconduct penalties on the night and also passing the 10-point totting up threshold.

And due to the fact that Bracknell have now passed 50 penalty points for the season, their boss Doug Sheppard has been given a two-game ban.

All those punishments started last night when the depleted Bees won 6-4 at lowly Milton Keynes Thunder.

“I am glad to see the disciplinary matter was dealt with quickly,” said Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov. “But I can’t help thinking the punishment is a little bit light on the Bracknell organisation and the coach.

“They are the ones who need to answer for what happened. The club and the coach are responsible for their guys.”

Phantoms’ equipment manager David O’Meara was given a one-game suspension for misconduct during the incident and sat out their home defeat to Thunder on Saturday (February 23).

Phantoms face Bracknell again on Wednesday, March 6 in a league clash at Planet Ice.