FOR THE SECOND time this season, a fixture between Finn Harps and St Patrick’s Athletic has been called off because of an unplayable pitch at Finn Park.
Harps were set to host Liam Buckley’s Saints in Ballybofey tonight, but match referee Thomas Connolly called the game off around 40 minutes before the schedule 8 o’clock kick-off time.
Picture caption: Finn Harps Manager Ollie Horgan and members of his backroom staff leave Finn Park after game against St. Patrick’s Athletic was called off.
There had been heavy rainfall in Ballybofey for much of the day and the referee, upon arrival at the venue, expressed initial concern about one corner of the pitch.[adrotate group=”38″]
Connolly and his team of officials, as well as the FAI’s match delegate, Danny Meenan, inspected the surface at length and decided to defer a decision until around 7.30pm.
Having consulted with the respective managers, Ollie Horgan and Liam Buckley, and despite the best endeavours of the Finn Harps groundstaff, the referee made a final determination at 7.20.
The overall condition of the surface at Finn Park seemed to be in no trouble, but Connolly’s concerns surrounded one strip in the corner at the River End of the ground in front of the stand.
Connolly said he had concerns for the safety of the players given the soft nature of the area in question, which was particularly soggy.[adrotate group=”37″]
In a statement Harps apologised for the late postponement and a new date will be announced by the Football Association of Ireland.
The early-season meeting of the teams in April was also called off when the surface at Finn Park was deemed to have been unplayable, but on that occasion St Patrick’s Athletic hadn’t begun their journey to Donegal.Tags: