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Waterford set to forfeit home advantage and play championship matches away from Walsh Park

Derek McGrath’s Déise could be set for ‘home’ fixtures in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Semple Stadium.

Walsh Park: in need of redevelopment.
Walsh Park: in need of redevelopment.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

WATERFORD ARE SET to forfeit home advantage for two of their Munster hurling championship games this summer due to concerns about the restricted capacity of Walsh Park.

The Déise are due to host Tipperary on 3 June and Cork on 17 June as part of the championship’s new provincial round-robin series.

But speaking to WLR’s Tomás McCarthy, county board chairman Paddy Joe Ryan confirmed that they have requested to play the two fixtures outside of the Waterford city venue.

With Walsh Park in need of redevelopment, it was expected that capacity for both fixtures this summer could be limited to as little as 8,000, forcing officials to explore alternatives.

The venue last hosted a provincial championship match in 2003 when approximately 7,000 watched Waterford beat Kerry, although almost 16,000 packed in for the last major clash, the 1996 Munster quarter-final between Waterford and Tipperary.

Discussions with the Munster council are ongoing, but The42 understands that Waterford’s meeting with Tipperary could now be set for Páirc Uí Chaoimh on bank holiday Monday, 4 June — two days after Cork’s hurlers host Limerick at the same venue.

The Irish Examiner reports that Semple Stadium in Thurles is under consideration for Waterford v Cork on 17 June.

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Niall Kelly

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