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Floodlight failure sees Derry-Limerick Buncrana clash abandoned after just 24 minutes

The score was 1-1 when the game was brought to a halt.

Derry's Conor McDermott and Limerick's Dean Clarke.
Derry's Conor McDermott and Limerick's Dean Clarke.
Image: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

DERRY CITY’S SOLD-OUT clash with Limerick at the club’s temporary base at Maginn Park was abandoned just 24 minutes into the first half due to floodlight failure.

With the teams level at 1-1, the Buncrana venue was plunged into darkness following a power cut and the teams were ushered off the pitch by match official Neil Doyle.

Almost 2,000 supporters had packed into the rain-soaked seaside venue to witness what had been billed as an historic occasion as the Candy Stripes played their first ever ‘home’ match outside Brandywell Stadium.

The game had promised so much with both sides coming off hugely impressive wins the previous week and Derry were handed a significant boost with the sight of experienced centre-half Aaron Barry returning to the starting line-up for the first time since his successful hip operation last September.

The opening stages certainly didn’t disappoint with Derry striker Nathan Boyle and Barry McNamee wasting decent chances to put the hosts ahead.

Limerick then took the lead on five minutes, against the run of play, when Dean Clarke latched on to a long punt up-field by goalkeeper Freddy Hall before driving his low shot beyond Ger Doherty from the edge of the box.

Derry drew level on 14 minutes when Ronan Curtis blasted into the net from close range at the second attempt following a free-kick from Aaron McEneff.

The striker came so close to adding a second six minutes later when he lunged to meet Boyle’s inviting ball across the face of the goalmouth but he failed to connect.

However, it mattered little as the game was abruptly called to a halt on 24 minutes when the floodlights packed in. And while there were desperate attempts to resolve the situation, it was to no avail as match officials called the game off.

Both sides were frustrated by the turn of events with Limerick FC players and staff making the 460-mile trek in vain.

So it was a memorable end to Derry’s first game in Buncrana but for all the wrong reasons.

The fixture has been rescheduled for Tuesday, 21 March at 7.45pm.

DERRY CITY: G Doherty; C McDermott, R McBride, A Barry, D Jarvis; N Low, A McEneff, L Schubert, B McNamee, N Boyle; R Curtis. Subs not used: E Grimes, A Netzer, S Whiteside, R Holden, H Monaghan, M Timlin, J Daniels.

LIMERICK: F Hall; S Kelly, T Whitehead, R Williams, T Robson; I Turner, S Duggan, B Hery, D Clarke; LJ Lynch; R, Tosi; Subs not used: B Clarke, P O’Conor, G Coughlan, S Kenny, C Mulhall, C Ogbene.

Referee: Neil Doyle

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