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Cork City's Turner's Cross ground seriously damaged by Storm Ophelia

The Leesiders are due to face Derry City at home tomorrow, when they could win the Premier Division title.

– Paul Dollery reports from Turner’s Cross

CORK CITY FOOTBALL CLUB remain hopeful that tomorrow’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game against Derry City will go ahead.

That’s in spite of the substantial damage caused to the club’s Turner’s Cross stadium by Storm Ophelia, which resulted in a section of the roof on the Derrynane Stand collapsing today.

TurnersCross Source: Paul Dollery/The42

The Leesiders are due to host Derry tomorrow night, a game which was scheduled to take place this evening before the decision was made yesterday to postpone it due to the heavy winds which have battered the country today.

Cork City still have three league games left to play this season, but a draw or a win for John Caulfield’s side against Derry will see them crowned Premier Division champions for the first time in 12 years.

With winds easing off late this afternoon, the condition of the 1,200-seat stand was surveyed by club officials, an engineer, an insurance assessor and a representative of An Garda Síochána.

The club are confident that the damage can be cleared in time for tomorrow night’s game, but they’re now waiting for the verdict of a fire officer, whose arrival at the ground has been delayed by the various issues elsewhere that have arisen from the extreme weather conditions.

If the fire officer is satisfied that it is safe to play the game with the Derrynane Stand closed to spectators, it will go ahead as planned with a 7.20pm kick-off tomorrow evening. RTÉ are due to broadcast the game live on television.

However, there may also be an additional issue with access to the ground caused by a fallen tree, which is currently blocking one half of Curragh Road, just outside the main turnstiles.

Image uploaded from iOS (3) Source: Paul Dollery/The42

Cork City FC expect to be in a position to issue a statement shortly to clarify the situation, but Derry City players and backroom staff are now preparing to spend a second night on Leeside.

Having travelled to Cork yesterday, the Candystripes are staying at the Rochestown Park Hotel ahead of the game. Derry City manager Kenny Shiels visited the ground at Turner’s Cross this afternoon and, after speaking to Cork City FC representatives, said he expects the game to be played.

“I think the game is going to go ahead,” Shiels told The42. “We’ve been through all sorts of emotions. We haven’t known whether it’s on or off. No one has been speaking to us at all, either from Cork City Football Club or the FAI.”

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Originally published 2:18 PM, 16 Oct 2017

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