IRISH LEAGUE: Ards and Glenavon game abandoned

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Ards and Glenavon may have to do it all again, after last night's game at the Bangor Fuels Arena was abandoned in the 50th minute due to high winds, even though Glenavon lead 2-0 thanks to a Joel Cooper brace.

With 50 minutes on the clock, referee Lee Tavinder abandoned the Danske Bank Premiership game between Glenavon and Ards.

The hurricane winds associated with Storm Eleanor that swirled around the North Down ground rendered the game almost farcical, with the gales rattling the advertisement hoardings and blowing the corner-flags out of the artificial turf.

Somehow the majestic Joel Cooper managed to score two fine goals, to give Glenavon a 2-0 lead at half-time.

Cooper's brace will give the Northern Ireland Football League something to think about.

NIFL now have three options. The 2-0 result could be allowed to stand, the match could be replayed in full, or NIFL could order the game to restart at the point it was abandoned. NIFL will meet in due course to discuss their options.

In truth, referee Lee Tavinder had no choice but to abandon the game. Minutes before he made the decision, the Ards PA announcer requested that spectators evacuate the main stand.

Ards Chairman Brian Adams explained, "The stewards brought it to my attention that the stand on the roof was starting to move and that we had to evacuate the stand.

"We explained the situation to the match officials. At first the game continued, but then some of the advertising hoardings started to come loose the lights flickered. At that stage, Lee Tavinder called the game off.

"I know Glenavon fans will be disappointed because they have made the journey in difficult conditions, and their team were 2-0 up, but I don't the referee had any other choice."

Glenavon made a great start to the match with Joel Cooper giving them the lead in the 20th minute. He cut inside from the left flank and drilled a shot towards goal. His effort deflected off Adam McAleenan and into the net.

Cooper made it 2-0 in the 28th minute. His low effort giving Ards goalkeeper Sam Johnston no chance.

Whether or not Cooper's brilliant brace will count for anything remains to be seen.

Ards: Johnston; McAleenan, Byers, Taylor, Glendinning; McMillen, Kelly, Cherry, McAllister; Davidson; McLellan

Subs: Arthurs, Hogg, McArthur McIlmail, Torrens

Glenavon: Tuffey; Singleton, Doyle, Marron, Marshall; Jenkins, Sykes, Burns, Cooper; Mitchell, Daniels

Subs: Griffin, Lindsay, McCavitt, McGrory, Norton

Ref: Lee Tavinder