Cork chiefs pleased Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch not the story

While events on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch weren’t all that enjoyable for the Cork senior hurling team on Sunday, the quality of the sod itself wasn’t a talking point, much to the relief of county GAA chiefs.

After the pitch cut up badly during the national league games against Kildare (football) and Wexford (hurling) at the end of January, the decision was taken to rest Páirc Uí Chaoimh until the championship, but the surface wasn’t an issue in Sunday’s Munster SHC defeat to Tipperary.

Cork chairperson Tracey Kennedy was pleased that it passed its test and expects similar drama-free affairs for the Rod Stewart concert there on Saturday, May 25 and the hurling clash with Waterford a fortnight later.

“I had been assured by the people involved in the pitch preparation that everything was going to fine,” she said.

It wasn’t really a concern in the last week. Of course, there was going to be a big focus on it, given what had happened with the last games that were played there, but obviously the best part of it for us is that the pitch is not a story.

“The pitch was excellent, and it is our expectation that it will be in top-quality condition for the Rod Stewart concert on May 23, the hurling game against Waterford on June 8 and any potential Munster final that we might be hosting.”

The Cork football team begin their championship campaign against Limerick on Saturday, June 1 but that game will take place at Páirc Uí Rinn.

“The pitch wouldn’t be ready after the concert,” Kennedy said.

“Similar to the Ed Sheeran concert last year, a part of the pitch has to be taken up. I understand that the stage is a bit smaller but a section of the pitch must still be taken up and relaid.

“That work wouldn’t be completed in time for the football match.”

Once the provincial championships are over, Kennedy is optimistic that work to ensure the pitch’s future performance will begin promptly.

“It’s our hope that the major works will begin as soon as possible after the Munster championships,” she said.

“There is still a tendering process and so on to happen there so we don’t have a definite date yet. It would be our hope that that will happen in June.”

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