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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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Installation of new pitch sees Cork's Super 8s clash with Roscommon moved out of Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Páirc Uí Rinn will host the 4 August fixture instead.

A view of Páirc Uí Chaoimh ahead of the game Work on a new pitch at Páirc Uí Chaoimh is due to begin next week. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

THE CORK COUNTY Board announced this afternoon that a new pitch is to be installed at Páirc Ui Chaoimh in time for the 2020 Allianz Leagues. 

However, with work on the playing surface due to begin next week, Cork’s upcoming meeting with Roscommon in the Super 8s has subsequently been moved to a different venue.

Instead, the Rebels will take on the Connacht champions in their secondary home venue, Páirc Uí Rinn. The fixture is scheduled for a 4pm throw-in on Sunday, 4 August.

“Works are due to begin on the project during the week commencing 22 July, and the contractor has indicated that this start date is critical to achieving maximum grass growth and ensuring the availability of the pitch for all of Cork’s home Allianz League games in 2020,” explained a Cork GAA statement issued this afternoon.

Aidan Walsh and Darren Byrne The pitch at Páirc Uí Chaoimh cut up badly during a hurling and football league double header in February. Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

The playing surface at Páirc Uí Chaoimh has been problematic since the redeveloped venue was reopened in 2017. The 45,000-capacity stadium recently hosted the Munster senior football final between Cork and Kerry, as well as Cork’s Munster’s senior hurling championship fixtures against Tipperary and Waterford. However, Leeside’s flagship venue will now be out of commission until next year.

The new surface — which will be installed by SIS Pitches — will be “in line with the most up-to-date pitch construction technology and performance available today,” according to the County Board, who added that the tender price has come in within the €95.8m redevelopment figure quoted previously.

“I am delighted that work is commencing this month as indicated earlier in the year, when the decision was announced that the pitch would be closed for replacement after the Munster finals,” said Cork GAA chairperson Tracey Kennedy.

“We cannot ask our teams and supporters to endure another season where our flagship stadium is unavailable to host the games it was built for, and it is absolutely critical now that we have a high-quality, winter-proof pitch available to host all of the inter-county and club fixtures that we wish to play at Páirc Uí Chaoimh each year. I am confident that SIS will provide that for us.

A view of Pairc Ui Rinn ahead of the game Páirc Uí Rinn will host next month's meeting of Cork and Roscommon. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

“I acknowledge and share the disappointment of many that our senior footballers cannot play their home All-Ireland quarter-final Phase 3 game against Roscommon in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, and if there was any way in which the match could have been accommodated without risk to the future success of the new pitch, it would have been done.

“However, our focus has to be on safeguarding our pitch for all our teams far into the future. We look forward to welcoming our own and our visiting supporters to Páirc Uí Rinn for the game.”

While the two venues are only separated by approximately a mile, Páirc Uí Rinn’s capacity is significantly smaller at 16,400, according to the Cork GAA website. 

Following their defeat to Dublin last weekend, Cork will be hoping for a positive result against Tyrone at Croke Park this Saturday to ensure that they remain in contention for a place in the semi-finals by the time Roscommon head south on the first weekend in August.

- Originally published at 16:15

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Paul Dollery

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