Derry City frustrated as Ophelia postpones Cork clash

Meanwhile, Shane Duffy has undergone a scan for a groin injury suffered on Saturday

Hurricane Ophelia has forced the postponement of Cork's crucial Premier League clash with Derry City on Monday night.

Derry boss Kenny Shiels was exasperated along with his players as news only came through of the FAI decision to put the game back by 24 hours with the team bus already halfway towards Cork and the eye of the oncoming storm.

Before it was announced that schools around the country would be closed on Monday due to the hurricane hitting Ireland, somehow the hope still was to allow John Caulfield's side the opportunity to clinch the title at Turner's Cross in the gale force winds.

It certainly promised to be something of a spectacle.

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In the end, however, after consulting with the authorities, the decision was taken to hold the game on Tuesday night instead.

But Shiels described as “illogical,” the failure to make an earlier call to put the fixture back a full week, something, he suggested, that would have provided a sense of certainty at an earlier stage and made life easier for spectators, particularly the very young and old.

“It seems illogical to have asked us to have travel when there was such a red weather warning and you expect that weather this severe will still have an impact on Tuesday evening so surely it would be more sensible to have put it back to next week,” he said while still travelling south with his players.

"That would have suited us and it would have suited Cork City but we are governed by what the authorities decide and they say it must go ahead on Tuesday night.

“You have to think of the supporters,” he continued, “particularly the younger and older ones. Playing next week seems the obvious thing to do but what can we do, we will continue on down there now and spend two nights in Cork rather than one. We are bound by the decisions the FAI take.”

Martin O'Neill should get a better idea over the course of Monday of how serious the injury sustained by Sean Maguire over the weekend is, with the Preston man set to undergo a scan to ascertain the extent of the problem that forced him to limp off on Saturday.

Maguire was replaced after scoring a goal and providing an assist in Preston's 2-2 draw at Fulham with manager Alex Neill saying afterwards that: "Sean felt his hamstring so we are just hoping that's not serious because he's a big player for us".

Meanwhile, there was a boost for O’Neill when the results of a scan on Shane Duffy’s groin showed that there was no serious damage after he had also been forced to limp off after 73 minutes of Brighton’s home draw with his former club, Everton.

The centre back has now been declared fit to play for Brighton in their clash with West Ham on Friday night.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is an Assistant News Editor at The Irish Times