Rain stops play for Comrades and Ballynure

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Heavy overnight rain played havoc with the football programme in the Ballyclare area with all four teams from Ballyclare Comrades and Ballynure Old Boys sidelined.

Top of the bill was Comrades’ Championship 1 clash with Donegal Celtic, but it was called off early on Saturday morning, because Celtic’s ground in west Belfast was waterlogged.

The Reserves had been looking forward to the local derby against Ballynure OB ‘B’ in the first round of the Canada Trophy at Threemilewater Park.

Reds manager Stephen Hughes had the luxury of having in his line-up recently signed senior players George Young and Ryan Dunlop, but they got only 45 minutes before the match was abandoned.

“Both teams were keen to play despite the likelihood of the pitch cutting up badly,” said Hughes. “The referee did well to make a start, but he eventually had to call it off at half-time.

“At that stage we were one up through Mark Conn who converted a penalty following a handling offence.

“Senior coaches Stuart McClean and Gary Bell made sure that Young and Dunlop didn’t get off easy, when they had to stay out for a half-hour full training programme, much to the amusement of their young colleagues who headed for the dressing rooms,” he recalled.

The Ballynure senior side should have entertained Brantwood in the Ballymena Premier League Match of the Day at Mossley but it too fell foul of the weather.

On Saturday Comrades Reserves travel to their main Ballymena Junior League Division 1 challengers, Desertmartin Swifts, who are now joint leaders with the Reds, who however have matches in hand.