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Sunday 20 August 2017

Dublin v Roscommon to go ahead as planned despite worries over pitch

Stephen Rochford. Photo: Sportsfile
Stephen Rochford. Photo: Sportsfile

Roscommon GAA chiefs are confident that the pitch in Dr Hyde Park will be playable next Sunday for the visit of Dublin.

The playing surface came under renewed scrutiny last Sunday when the home team lost to Connacht rivals, Mayo after heavy rainfall on Saturday night and again on the morning of the match.

"Everything is OK," Roscommon chairman, Seamus Sweeney, told the Herald.

"Sunday was exceptional in that we had a big downfall of rain on Saturday night and again (Sunday) morning.

"Looking at Tyrone v Armagh on Saturday night, you had a similar situation with water flying around the place. You can't legislate for that."

Trodding

Standing water was visible at one end of the Hyde Park pitch on Sunday, though the game went ahead after a pitch inspection from Maurice Deegan and a discussion with managers Fergal O'Donnell and Stephen Rochford.

Speaking afterwards, Rochford said: "it was a little bit worrying maybe about some of the bits of water on the field but as the game went on and lads got trodding through it."

Roscommon's Under 21s are fixed to play their Connacht final against Mayo in Hyde Park on Saturday evening at 6.0 but with further rain expected on Friday and Saturday, Sweeney admitted that that match may yet be moved.

"A decision will be made on that by Wednesday," he explained. "If the weather is not suitable, that game may have to move.

"At the moment, everything is planned for the Hyde next weekend but again, it's down to the elements.

"The lads were out at half-time and again (yesterday). They'll have all the divots put back and repaired."

"If the weather is good, we'll be fine. If it's not, we're looking at moving the Under 21 game."

A crowd in the region of 12,400 attended Sunday's match and though the ground can officially hold approximately 20,000, Sweeney said they were expected a similar attendance for next weekend.

"We'll be expecting a similar crowd to yesterday," he explained.

"There is a lot of accommodation booked out in Roscommon that weekend. A lot of people will be coming to see the All-Ireland champions."

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