Ardee Celtic missed out on the chance to hit the top of the NEFL O’Neill’s Sportswear Division One on Friday night – as their encounter away to promotion rivals Black Bull succumbed to the weather.
The Deesiders were scheduled to play Black Bull, who currently sit in fourth position in the table, in Monasterboice but the rain that fell during the week has left the pitch at the Albion Rovers venue unplayable leaving Ardee Celtic’s seniors with a free weekend.
Whilst there is no football under Friday Night Lights, the other key fixture in this week’s instalment of the title race saga – an edge-of-your-seat drama that looks set to go right to the wire, keeping everyone guessing right until the final act – played out on Thursday evening.
League leaders OMP United were held to a 2-2 draw by Johnstown. That result in Navan left Ardee Celtic knowing a win against Black Bull would move them one place to the league summit – and swing the title impetus in their favour heading into the final handful of games.
Ardee Celtic beat Black Bull 2-1 in the return fixture at Townparks in the Autumn, thanks to goals from Fintan Clarke and Robbie McNeice. The pitch condition in Monasterboice means the Ardee men won’t be given the opportunity to replicate that victory tonight.
The side – coached by Niall Taaffe, Conor Lynch and Paul Lumsden – would have been approaching the game with confidence, given their 3-2 come-from-behind win against rivals Square United in the Ardee Derby last Sunday. That game was just Ardee Celtic’s second game in four weeks. By the time they next take to the field, they will have played just once in six weeks.
Constant postponements and rescheduling of games is stunting their charge towards possible promotion. Should third placed Enfield beat Trim Town on Sunday, Ardee Celtic will finish the weekend in third place in the division.