Healy annoyed as weather frustrates


ONCE AGAIN the weather took its toll on the sporting fixtures over the weekend with events in soccer, football, rugby and racing all falling by the wayside, although it is hoped that most will he rescheduled to take place within the coming week.

While the FA Cup programme in England took its worst battering from the weather for more than three decades, the National League programme lost one Premier Division and a number of First Division ties.

Shamrock Rovers' failure to arrive at the Brandywell on Saturday evening for their league tie with Derry City has angered the Northerners despite claims from the Dublin club that, having travelled as far as Newry, they had no choice but to turn back due to the prevailing road conditions.

"I think it's totally ludicrous in senior soccer that one club doesn't show up to fulfil its fixture with another club," said Derry City manager Felix Healy last night.

"We have certainly travelled to Dublin many times for matches when the weather was had and we always got there. A good few of those occasions we would have headed down the road at 20 miles an hour but we made it there because we set off early enough," he added.

Healy said that the dub were considering a move to have the points awarded to them but he felt himself that this would not happen and hoped that the game could he played at 7.30 tomorrow evening - although this has yet to be agreed with either the league or Shamrock Rovers.

The GAA are likely to have to wait three weeks before any attempt is made to play the Railway Cup semi finals that were postponed over the weekend as their is National league football for the next two Sundays.

A decision on a date for the matches is likely to be announced early this week but February 18th looks to be the most likely date for the games to be played, while March 3rd, two weeks before the proposed date of the final, is also a possibility. The Connacht senior hurling trial, meanwhile, has been rescheduled for next Saturday at Duggan Park in Ballinasloe.

In rugby three Leinster Senior Cup matches, most notably the meeting of St Mary's and Lansdowne, all due to be played last Saturday, will he refixed by the Leinster Branch today and there is a possibility that they, along with the sprinkling of matches in Connacht, Munster and Ulster which were all lost to the weather, will he played this weekend instead.

The hockey interprovincial championships must also he completed another day after being switched from one location to another on Saturday in an effort to heat the weather but were only partially completed before falling victim to deteriorating conditions.

Ulster and Leinster both scored wins in the matches that were completed but even a move to sand based pitches late in the afternoon couldn't prevent the abandonment of the last round of matches.

In racing, Saturday's rescheduled meeting at Punchestown will go ahead tomorrow where the original declarations stand. An inspection is expected to take place on the course some time today but course manager Charles Murless yesterday expressed confidence.