Ballymena Showgrounds: ‘Totally unacceptable’ as County Antrim Shield final between Linfield and Crusaders falls victim to weather

Ballymena Showgrounds following a postponement at the pitch in January. Pic by Pacemaker.
Ballymena Showgrounds following a postponement at the pitch in January. Pic by Pacemaker.

A waterlogged Ballymena Showgrounds pitch has led to the postponement of the County Antrim Shield final between Crusaders and Linfield.

A pitch inspection around 2.30pm this afternoon resulted in the decision - understood to be a fifth game postponed within the current campaign at the council-owned venue.

It is a situation described as “totally unacceptable” in a statement from Mid & East Antrim Borough Council.

“We are extremely disappointed and hugely frustrated by the condition of the playing surface at Ballymena Showgrounds,” said a Mid & East Antrim Borough Council spokesperson. “We have launched a full investigation into the current issues in order to find a long-term solution.

“We want the pitch at the Showgrounds to be among the very best in Northern Ireland and we are committed to ensuring we will deliver this for the people of Mid and East Antrim, and the football fraternity.

“The current situation is totally unacceptable, and we apologise unreservedly for the disruption caused.”

However, a pitch inspection around 3pm resulted in the green light for the Danske Bank Premiership meeting between Newry City AFC and Glentoran.

No pitch inspection has been planned for the other Premiership game tonight between Dungannon Swifts and Coleraine.