Sunday 22 October 2017

Croke Park surface right as rain despite flooding – McKenna

The metaphorical floodgates are expected to open in Croke Park today when Cavan play London in the first of a qualifiers triple-header. Yesterday, as our pictures show, there was plenty of rain to contend with outside the ground. However, officials are sure that the pitch will be fit for today's six-hour football bonanza
The metaphorical floodgates are expected to open in Croke Park today when Cavan play London in the first of a qualifiers triple-header. Yesterday, as our pictures show, there was plenty of rain to contend with outside the ground. However, officials are sure that the pitch will be fit for today's six-hour football bonanza
Flood waters on Jones Road beside Croke Park in Dublin after torrential rain fell over Dublin city causing on the spot flooding.
Flooding outside Croke Park
Flooding outside Croke Park
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Croke Park's drainage system can cope with any amount of rainfall, so barring unforeseen circumstances, the pitch will be in good condition for today's three All-Ireland football qualifier games.

A torrential downpour caused flooding on Jones's Road yesterday afternoon, resulting in water pouring into Elverys Sports Shop in the stadium. It also seeped into the players' lounge but did not affect the dressing-rooms. Flood barriers prevented worse damage to the reception and adjoining areas.

Over 50mm of rain fell on Dublin 3 in a short space of time, but Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna said that the pitch would be in good condition for today's busy programme.

"Our vacuum system clears the pitch of surface water so unless we get an incredible amount of rain there will be no problems there," he said. "Obviously, we're hoping we don't get a repeat of this afternoon's weather but, in terms of the pitch, everything is fine.

"If we got similar weather during the games, we would have to look at exiting people through different routes but otherwise it will be business as usual."

Yesterday's unseasonal weather evoked memories of 2008, when a deluge fell during the Galway-Kerry All-Ireland quarter-final. It became the first championship game to be played under floodlights after the early August skies blackened to near darkness in the space of 30 minutes prior to the downpour.

The game proceeded normally with the surface remaining in good condition, thanks to the state-of-the-art drainage system.

Croke Park begins its busiest part of the season today when three football qualifiers (Cavan v London, Galway v Cork and Tyrone v Meath) will be played between 3.0 and 8.30.

Irish Independent

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