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Lights out as Candystripes game is called off

By Eoin Wilson

Derry City's historic first night at Maginn Park ended in farce as their clash against Limerick was abandoned due to floodlight failure.

An entertaining game, in which the Candystripes had hit back from conceding an early goal, came to a halt just 25 minutes into their debut at their new temporary home in Donegal.

Dean Clarke had given Limerick an early lead after a mistake from Lukas Schubert, but Ronan Curtis smashed in an equaliser just over 10 minutes later.

Officials at Maginn attempted to restart the game but gave up and the match was abandoned, much to the disappointment of the sell-out crowd. The clash has been rearranged for Tuesday, March 21 (7.45pm).

Derry boss Kenny Shiels said: "I'm disappointed it had to be cut short but these things happen.

"Hopefully, we can regroup psychologically, re-energise and get back to training on Sunday.

"There have been a couple of incidents like this which have happened over the years. Floodlights have failed everywhere over the world so this is not unique but it's disappointing.

"I really felt sorry for the supporters because it was raining all night and that was the one thing we didn't want here because everything else was fantastic.

"The rain made it difficult for our supporters and I'm disappointed for them that they had to stand in the rain but they were very vocal and very supportive and I'd like to thank them for that."

It was originally hoped that the game would be rescheduled for this afternoon, but that idea was quickly dismissed by Shiels and the contest will now go ahead on March 21.

"We toyed with it (playing today) but psychologically I don't think it would be right for us," Shiels explained. "We're looking at the League Cup week and it is the logical step to play it on that date.

"Let's just take it on the chin and move on.

"It must be disappointing for Limerick, travelling all the way up and staying overnight. It must be really hard for them because they have to travel back up again.

"But that's life and these kinds of things happen. It happened to me in the past and it will probably happen again.

"I just hope that we can take the momentum from this into next week's game against Shamrock Rovers."

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