Only one of the four Tennent’s Irish Cup quarter-final ties scheduled for today is going ahead.
Following a sterling effort by Glenavon FC staff and supporters to clear snow off the pitch, the Lurgan club’s game against Loughgall is being staged this afternoon (3.00 start).
Two pitch inspections were carried out at Glenavon’s Mourneview Park ground before the game was given the green light by match officials.
Referee Raymond Crangle, who had earlier called off games in Coleraine and Ballymena, liaised with match referee Tim Marshall and Gareth Eakin, a local match official appointed by the Irish FA to inspect the pitch, and between them they decided it was game on between the Danske Bank Premiership side and their local Championship rivals.
The snow and ice which has wreaked havoc across Northern Ireland in recent days put paid to the three other matches, however.
The first tie to be cancelled was the Coleraine v Glentoran clash at The Showgrounds in Coleraine – due to a frozen pitch. Match referee Raymond Crangle made the call as he was concerned for players’ safety.
Then the game between Linfield and Cliftonville at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park was called off. The pitch was playable, however there were concerns around stadium access and public safety given there were large amounts of snow and ice in the stands and around the ground. Stadium Director Louise Doyle made the call to cancel the match.
The third match to be axed was the Ballymena v Larne tie scheduled for Ballymena Showgrounds. Raymond Crangle also carried out the inspection in Ballymena and he felt the pitch, which was frozen, posed a threat to players’ safety.
The three postponed ties have been rearranged for Tuesday 13 March.
The semi-final draw for the Tennent’s Irish Cup will take place at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park after the Linfield v Cliftonville game on 13 March.