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Friday 17 November 2017

Boost for Saints as Cork game is on

A picture from Cork City’s Turner’s Cross home yesterday as the storm brought down the roof of the Derrynane Stand. Pic: Sportsfile
A picture from Cork City’s Turner’s Cross home yesterday as the storm brought down the roof of the Derrynane Stand. Pic: Sportsfile

Cork City's bid to land the league title with two games to spare is on after tonight's game at home to Derry City was given the go ahead.

Cork, who need just one point from their final three games, had been down to play Derry last night, but that game was postponed for 24 hours due to safety fears over Hurricane Ophelia.

The storm reached Cork's home of Turner's Cross and when the roof of one of the stands in the stadium was severely damaged by high winds yesterday, there were fears that tonight's game would be called off. But after inspections by officials yesterday, permission was given for the game to go ahead.

"Structural damage did occur at Turner's Cross, resulting in the Derrynane Stand being closed for the game," said an FAI statement last night, confirming that the game was on.

"An engineer visited the ground on Monday afternoon and while damage was done to a particular section, the rest of the stadium was not affected. The engineer approved the fixture proceeding once the necessary works are completed on Tuesday morning in clearing debris and the Derrynane Stand remaining closed."

The go-ahead was good news for St Patrick's Athletic: the next game in their relegation battle, their final home game of the season, is against Cork next Friday and the hope in Inchicore was that the Saints would be facing a City side still celebrating a title win, instead of a Cork outfit heading to Dublin still needing a point to make sure.

However, Derry are unhappy with the whole saga as City's outspoken manager Kenny Shiels yesterday raised the prospect of his side simply not fulfilling the fixture.

"We have a duty of care to the families. I have taken young players out of school to come down and play for Derry City in a very important game," he said. "To sit in a hotel for two and a half days waiting on a game is not the professional preparation we would have liked."

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