Belfast Telegraph

Irish League gets snowed under as elements take toll on fixture list

by CONOR McLAUGHLIN

JUST three fixtures survived the elements as the NI Football League programme was frozen still at the weekend.

Victories for Coleraine and Crusaders means it's as you were for the Danske Bank Premiership's top two sides, but the gap down to third has now been stretched to three points, with a further three continuing to separate Glenavon, Cliftonville and Linfield.

Warrenpoint Town's failure to cling on for at least a draw against the Crues means Matthew Tipton's men missed out on the chance to open up a more comfortable margin between themselves and the relegation zone - with Carrick Rangers' two games in hand possible reason for concern at Milltown.

The Gers' clash with champions Linfield at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena fell by the wayside, as did Glentoran's meeting with Ballinamallard United, while the 3G surfaces at Solitude and the Bangor Fuels Arena were no match for blankets of overnight snow, meaning that Cliftonville and Ards' respective showdowns with Glenavon and Ballymena United will have to wait for another day.

Five of the Bluefin Sport Championship's six scheduled matches also fell foul of the weather, but the one that did go ahead was certainly worth its weight in goals as Ballyclare Comrades extended their advantage at the summit to six points - albeit having played three games more than nearest challengers Institute - with a thrilling 5-3 success away to Limavady United; Robbie Hume's hat-trick adding a touch of respectability for a Roesiders outfit that was comprehensively outplayed by their visitors.

That was the only fixture outside the Premiership to proceed, with all games in the Premier Intermediate League, Premiership Development League and Championship Development League North and South hit by the snow.

≈ CLIFTONVILLE have rescheduled this weekend's foodbank collection for next Saturday, when the Reds face Glentoran at Solitude.

Belfast Telegraph

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