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Cooper's double in doubt as league to decide if Glenavon result will stand

Ards 0-2 Glenavon (Match abandoned)

By Keith Bailie

With Irish FA president David Martin and NIFL managing director Andrew Johnston in the stands, the Bangor Fuels Arena delivered a tremendous advertisement for summer football.

With 50 minutes on the clock, referee Lee Tavinder abandoned the Danske Bank Premiership game between Ards and Glenavon.

The hurricane winds that swirled around the North Down ground rendered the game almost farcical, with the gales rattling the advertisement hoardings and blowing the corner flags out of the artificial turf.

Somehow, the majestic Joel Cooper had managed to score two fine goals to give Glenavon a 2-0 lead at half-time.

Cooper's brace will give the Northern Ireland Football League something to think about as they now have three options.

The 2-0 result could be allowed to stand, the match could be replayed in full, or NIFL could order the game to restart at the point it was abandoned. NIFL will meet in due course to discuss the way forward.

In truth, Tavinder had no choice but to abandon the game. Minutes before his decision, the Ards PA announcer requested that spectators evacuate the main stand.

Ards chairman Brian Adams explained: "The stewards brought it to my attention that the stand on the roof was starting to move and that we had to evacuate the stand.

"We explained the situation to the match officials. At first the game continued, but then some of the advertising hoardings started to come loose and the lights flickered. At that stage, Lee Tavinder called the game off.

"I know Glenavon fans will be disappointed, but I don't think the referee had any other choice."

Belfast Telegraph

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