THERE was controversy when the commencement of the Amateur League’s Premier and 1A divisions was postponed at the last minute.

Dromara Village were due to open their campaign on Saturday afternoon but were forced to cancel their plans at the last minute,

And the disruption could last for weeks.

An announcement on the Amateur League’s website said “Due to an appeal by Newington YC against a league decision, and subsequent correspondence from member clubs, the league programme for both the Premier and 1A sections has been cancelled for this Saturday (11th Aug) and also mid-week fixtures due to be played week commencing 13th. August.

“Further instructions regarding the 18th August onward will be issued next Thursday evening, however I must caution that other than Cup fixtures the league programme may not function normally for some weeks.”

It is understood the hold up is due to Newington not having full control of their ground on a Saturday afternoon, a requirement to be eligible to play Premier League football according to the Amateur League’s rules.

The rulebook states: “The First Division will be composed of a Premier Section of not more than 16 teams of clubs who have total control of their ground and facilities, and whose ground and facilities are approved by the IFA Intermediate Committee and meet other standards set by the League. Total control means the Club can arrange, subject to it’s involvement it national/divisional associations competitions, home matches on any day of the season as directed by the League without reference to any other body including Public Authorities.”

Should Newington’s appeal be unsuccessful it would mean that they would be demoted to Division 1A, where these rules don’t apply, and Derriaghy CC would be promoted.

For the Village it means that their could be a long lay-off for Phil McDonagh’s men. Their next scheduled game is on Saturday against Shankill United at the Hammer Sports Complex, but it could be the following week against Larne Tech OB before any football is played.

The Leader will keep you up to date with any developments via our website ( and on Twitter (@sport_banleader).