Fans ran riot during match

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EIGHT rugby supporters have been convicted of violent disorder after running riot at a match in South Yorkshire resulting in the game being called off.

The fighting broke out at the Keepmoat Stadium in March 2009 during a Challenge Cup tie between Doncaster and amateur Leeds club Queens, with the thugs seen punching stewards and attacking rival fans.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Carl Parker, aged 19, Dean Townend, 23, Thomas Roden, 19, Jason Myers, 38, Samuel Hendrickson, 31 and Rodney Menon, 20, as well as 23-year-old Gregory Ward and his brother Martin Ward, 28, were among the “rowdiest” supporters, and that the disorder was probably sparked by Doncaster scoring a try.

Judge Peter Kelson QC said the fans, all from Leeds, deserved severe sentences but he was unable to jail them all due to the length of time the case had “dragged on”.

Six of the thugs escaped with fines, while Parker - who injured 47-year-old steward Iain Audsley - was given a six-month suspended sentence and Townend was locked up for six years on an unrelated drugs charge.

The match was abandoned after 61 minutes.

Last December Townend was caught with £345,000 worth of cocaine at his home.

Parker admitted causing grievous bodily harm and violent disorder. He must pay £500 compensation to Mr Audsley.

Roden, Myers, Menon, and Gregory Ward were fined £250 with £500 costs, while Martin Ward and Hendrickson were fined £500 each.

The six admitted violent disorder.

Townend pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine with intent to supply.