Sporting schedule falls victim to blizzard.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Sporting schedule falls victim to blizzard. thumbnailOmagh Leisure Centre’s pitch was unplayable due to the snowy weather brought by Storm Emma.

THE local sporting scene was brought to a halt as 'Storm Emma' brought a wave of postponements at the weekend.

The entire program of matches in the local Fermanagh and Western Football League were postponed following the meeting of the league's management committee on Thursday night, with football pitches across the region frozen over and covered in snow in many cases.

This weekend will sees a return to normality with a number of second round fixtures in both the Mulhern and Reihill Cup competitions taking place at 2pm on Saturday.

In the Mulhern, Beragh Swifts host Tummery Athletic while holders Strathroy Harps welcome Lisbellaw United. Strule United are at home to Division One table-toppers NFC Kesh, while Augher Stars and Mountjoy United welcome the arrival of Lisnaskea Rovers and Ardstraw Reserves respectively.

Dergview and Ballinamallard United were not in action at the weekend due to the Tennent's Irish Cup quarter-finals, which in turn also fell victim to the dreaded 'Beast from the East', with only Loughgall's shock win over Glenavon going ahead.

Ardstraw's game with Magherafelt Sky Blues was also called off due to a frozen pitch at Vaughan's Holm.

In rugby, Omagh Accies were forced to sit it out as the IRFU shelved all Ulster Bank League fixtures due to the prevailing weather conditions and alerts throughout the country. Phil Marshall's men were due to welcome Sligo to the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields, however the Division 2C game has now been rearranged for this Saturday at 12pm.

And in hockey, all of the planned fixtures in the women's Irish League, the women's Irish Challenge semi-finals and the men's and women's Irish Trophy semi-finals were postponed.

Gaelic games also fell foul to the weather as the GAA confirmed all 33 National League matches scheduled across the country were to be put off, causing further issues to an already heavily backlogged fixture list.

A final decision had previously intended to be made on Friday but with the red weather warning extended nationwide on Wednesday night, they pushed forward the decision.

Tyrone were set to take on Ulster rivals Donegal in a Division One relegation battle at Healy Park on Saturday night. The hurlers are seeking to earn a place in the Division 3A final, but they must defeat Longford in a rescheduled tie at Pearse Park and hope that other results go their way.

Even indoor sports were not safe from the blizzard-like conditions, as the basketballers of Omagh Thunder had to call off their game with Derry outfit Northstar in the first round of Basketball NI Plate tournament at the Station Centre on Thursday night.

With everything seemingly brought to a standstill, the hardy souls at Carmen Runners were determined that their ninth annual Carmen 10K would go ahead on Saturday morning.

The decision to re-route the the original course was made at lunchtime on Friday, and Trojan work from race organisers and other volunteers who worked around the clock to grit the roads ensured the race was run.

Their efforts were well rewarded with over 200 runners turning out for the race in spite of freezing conditions.


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