DERRY CITY: Lights go out on Derry's historic opener at Maginn Park

DERRY CITY's historic opening Airtricity Premier Division fixture at Maginn Park against Limerick FC proved a memorable affair - but all for the wrong reasons!

Friday, 3rd March 2017, 9:32 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:01 am
Derry's Conor McDermott and Limerick goalscorer, Dean Clarke pictured in action before the power failure at Maginn Park.

The temporary home of the Candy Stripes in the seaside town of Buncrana was plunged into darkness just 24 minutes into the club's much anticipated clash with the Super Blues as the floodlights suddenly went out.

Almost 2,000 supporters had packed into the rain-soaked venue to witness what had been billed as an historic occasion as the Candy Stripes played their first ever 'home' match outside Brandywell Stadium and their enthusiasm wasn't dampened by the driving rain with the game living up to its expectations in the early stages.

Indeed, the attendance were treated to an action-packed opening to the game as striker Nathan Boyle and the lively Barry McNamee both wasted decent chances to put the hosts ahead. Ronan Curtis was gifted a glorious chance from Nicky Low's corner kick on five minutes but his downward header was gathered cleanly by Limerick keeper, Freddy Hall.

The Blues keeper wasted no time punting the ball up to Dean Clarke who drove towards goal and clinically sent his shot from the edge of the penalty area beyond Ger Doherty.

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. And 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.

And then it all went wrong as the game was abruptly called to a halt on 24 minutes when the generator powering the floodlights suddenly packed in.

There were desperate attempts to resolve the situation but it was to no avail and match official, Neil Doyle called an end to proceedings following a 20 minute wait with the majority of supporters still in the ground. Supporters were then swiftly evacuated from the venue as discussions between the Derry City and Limerick officials began in a bid to find a suitable date for the rescheduled game which will take place on Tuesday, March 21 at 7.45 p.m.

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; L.J. Lynch; R., Tosi; Subs Not Used - B. Clarke, P. O'Conor, G. Coughlan, S. Kenny, C. Mulhall, C. Ogbene.

Referee - Neil Doyle.