Páirc Uí Chaoimh may not see GAA action until Championship

Páirc Uí Chaoimh may not be available for GAA action until Cork hurlers’ Munster SHC Round 1 game against Clare, writes John Fogarty.

The Irish Examiner understands Páirc Uí Rinn will host the Division 1A hurling quarter-final or relegation play-off the weekend after next if Cork has home advantage.

What’s more, the game could possibly form part of a double-header with the footballers’ Division 2 match on the evening of St Patrick’s Day, which has been pencilled in for a 7pm throw-in.

The Páirc Uí Chaoimh surface came in for criticism following the recent double-header against the Waterford hurlers and Cavan footballers and officials appear to be against organising another double-header for the venue, while there is reluctance about staging the hurling knockout game there as a standalone fixture.

The turf is expected to be given time to improve although it has already been confirmed some of it will be replaced following the three Ed Sheeran concerns on May 4, 5 and 6.

The decision would also rule out the newly-developed stadium hosting the Division 1 semi-finals and final later this month. However, Páirc Uí Chaoimh could host as many as eight inter-county games this summer — Cork hurlers’ confirmed home Munster SHC fixtures against Clare and Limerick, Munster senior finals in both codes, a provincial SFC semi-final should Waterford beat Tipperary, All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals and a Super 8 game should Cork footballers make the quarter-finals.

The chances of the Cork hurlers having a home game on March 17 or 18 are strong as they have only had two matches at home during the campaign, both in Páirc Uí Chaoimh where they beat Kilkenny in Round 1 and lost to Waterford the last day out.

Should they be pitted against a team who have had three home matches, Cork will be awarded home advantage. In the event they face another side who have played host twice during the round stages, home advantage will be decided by a coin toss.

Cork need to beat Tipperary by 10 points in Semple Stadium on Sunday to ensure it’s Michael Ryan’s side instead of the Rebels who fall into the relegation play-off. Should they fail to do so, they could still make a quarter-final by beating Tipp if Kilkenny are beaten soundly by Wexford in Nowlan Park. However, Wexford have already qualified for the last eight and are carrying a number of injuries into the derby.

- Irish Examiner

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