December freeze forces postponement of Glenavon v Dungannon Swifts at Mourneview Park

Glenavon's  Rhys Marshall surveys the pitch last night
Glenavon's Rhys Marshall surveys the pitch last night

Glenavon’s game with Dungannon Swifts was called off at the eleventh hour on Tuesday night after referee Tim Marshall deemed the Mourneview Park pitch unplayable.

It had been passed earlier by local ref Gareth Eakin after an inspection, but when Marshall arrived later he decided the pitch was too hard in places to play on.

Both clubs were left asking why the match was declared on when the Geddis Stand side was still hard from the frost from the past few days.

The match had already been moved from New Year’s Day, but the game will now be played next Tuesday, January 6.

“The referee has obviously taken player safety into account but as a manager it’s very frustrating,” said Swifts boss Darren Murphy.

“I can’t understand how the pitch can be passed at 3.30pm when a referee knows that it is only going to get colder and that any frost on the pitch isn’t going to go away.”

Glenavon Chairman Adrian Teer added: “I think it shows that we need a situation where if a game is in doubt then the match referee, where possible, should make the decision on whether the game should go ahead or not.”