Wexford trained on the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch on Monday evening ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final — despite restrictions against it.
All four of this weekend’s quarter-finalists were invited by the Cork County Board to get a taste of the stadium. Brief puckarounds were permitted as well as some shooting practice but Clare, Tipperary, Waterford, and Wexford had been informed training would not be allowed.
Tipperary, as reported earlier this week, decided not to avail of the reconnaissance offer, preferring to continue their preparations in Thurles. Both Clare and Waterford visited last Saturday but only some of the Waterford panel were in attendance and their visit was brief. Clare, who had trained the night before at their Caherlohan base, also familiarised themselves with the stadium, where Tony Kelly practised frees.
Irish Examiner video footage from Monday shows Wexford players lining up in a training game. They are believed to have spent 40 minutes on the field as well as also practising on the 4G pitch behind the Southern Stand.
Concerns had been expressed by players from the visiting counties about the lack of bounce on the turf, with one source suggesting the sod was “dead” despite being hard underfoot. A lack of bounce is expected with a new surface, which has yet to settle.
The pitch was relaid last October and while a drier-than-usual spring didn’t help matters a state-of-the-art sprinkler system has compensated.
This week’s rain will be welcomed and more of it is forecasted for Saturday, although Sunday is expected to be a dry day.
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