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Antrim Shield final moved after Blues win their appeal

By Graham Luney

This season's County Antrim Shield final will not go ahead at Seaview after Linfield won their appeal to have the decider staged at a neutral ground. The County Antrim FA had originally ruled that this month's match between the Blues and Crusaders would take place at the north Belfast venue but, at last night's appeal hearing, it was determined that a new venue should be chosen.

One possible solution is the Ballymena Showgrounds - which hosted the 2014 final between the same sides - with the game put back to a date in February.

Linfield's opposition was exacerbated by the spitting incident at Seaview on Saturday when a supporter targeted Blues boss David Healy.

The Oval remains a possible location but the Showgrounds is in the running even though it would involve two Belfast sides travelling out of the city.

The game is scheduled for Tuesday, January 24 but more time may be needed to finalise arrangements for the new venue.

Linfield had claimed that the County Antrim FA were acting in contravention to rule 11(d) of the Rules Of The Senior Challenge Shield Competition, which states the final shall be hosted at a ground which "shall be neutral and deemed appropriate" and which "shall be chosen by the Committee of the Association".

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