Christmas derby match is postponed

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The Christmas derby between East Antrim rivals Larne and Carrick Rangers has been put on the back burner, writes John Gillespie.

The Invermen were scheduled to host Carrick in a festive cracker on Saturday, December 27, but with the Taylor’s Avenue club involved in the Steel and Sons Cup final, a decision was reached by the Northern Ireland Football League’s Championship Management Executive Committee to postpone the league match.

It first came to light on Friday evening when Larne FC revealed the news on Twitter, writing: “The club today received confirmation that our league game against Carrick Rangers on Saturday 27th December has been postponed by NIFL.”

It’s a move that appears to have left Larne manager Davy McAlinden displeased. “Disappointed and dismayed to hear the club’s biggest game in terms of revenue in years has been postponed. Very strange,” he tweeted.

With Christmas Day falling on a Thursday, it would have meant Carrick playing twice in the space of just over two days.

“The Northern Ireland Football League received a request from Carrick Rangers to postpone the fixture due to their participation in County Antrim FA Steel and Sons Cup final on Christmas Day. The Championship Management Executive Committee considered such request and agreed that the game should be postponed,” a NIFL statement read.

“This decision was taken after referring to a precedent set in previous seasons when clubs participating in divisional association cup final games on Christmas Day / Boxing Day have had their subsequent Saturday fixture postponed.”