Two matches were abandoned on Saturday just a few miles apart, but it wasn’t a case of things boiling over at Cloyne Crescent or the Factory Grounds.
The ‘meltdown’ arose from the puddles created when a burst of hail started to thaw on the pitch.
At Monkstown, the game was brought to a premature halt on 52 minutes, with 18th Newtownabbey leading Saintfield United 3-2, through goals from Jamie McTaggart, Ross Middleton and Ryan Greer.
“There was hail for the last 15 minutes of the first half but when it melted it left big puddles on the pitch. I’ve no complaints; the referee made the right decision,” said 18th player-manager, Mark Miskimmin.
At the Factory Grounds it was a game of one half. “I didn’t want to take part in the decision as Bloomfield were 3-1 up at the time,” said UUJ boss, Billy Youle. “They’ve only two games left and needed the points. But the game was far from over. I’m convinced we would have got back into it. I was happy enough to continue, but for the players’ safety, it wasn’t playable and the referee was 100 per cent right!”
Paddy O’Donnell was the UUJ marksman.
Landlords Nortel must have been glad they were on an away day, where they were 3-0 winners at Drumaness Mills.
It wasn’t quite as plain sailing as it looked as Drumaness were on top, until Nortel snatched the lead on 28 minutes; Timmy Clarke doing the needful after Adam Irwin had been upended.
Seven minutes later, again against the run of play, Irwin did well to stay on his feet, slotting the ball into the bottom corner for the visitors’ second.
Drumaness’s keeper was dramatically substituted at the start of the second half and it was a loose clearance from the stand-in that was pounced upon by Phil McCann to make the game safe for the visitors.
Rathfern were also on dryer land, where a Craig McMurdie header gave them the lead at Colin Valley, only for the home side to rescue a point midway through the second half.
Meanwhile, it’s a 12th successive league defeat for Division 1C Newington Rangers, losing 5-2 to Shorts at the Knowe.
Premier Division Nortel are due to take host Derriaghy CC on Tuesday night, while Barn United were set to welcome Dunmurry Rec to Haslett Park in a Division 1A fixture. Garry Campbell’s Mossley are due to be away to Bangor Swifts in 1C.