Tuesday 26 September 2017

Hyde return to boost Rossies - McStay

Roscommon manager Kevin McStay Picture: Sportsfile
Roscommon manager Kevin McStay Picture: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Roscommon manager Kevin McStay is hopeful that a return to Dr Hyde Park can be a boost for his side's forthcoming NFL Division 1 campaign.

The surface at 'The Hyde' came in for criticism last year when the Rossies played Mayo in a League clash there in desperate conditions, while the tie with Dublin had to be moved to Carrick-on-Shannon at the 11th hour due to the pitch being declared unplayable.

Roscommon also used Longford's Pearse Park as a 'home' venue for their game with Down, prompting county officials to close the venue so a new surface could be laid over the winter.

The Rossies host their final 'home' game away from their county ground this weekend when they welcome Galway to Kiltoom for the FBD League final on Sunday.

Despite having no regular home venue available in 2016, Roscommon managed to qualify for the League semi-finals on their return to the top flight.

And McStay believes that reverting to the Hyde for their first home game of the League campaign with Donegal on February 12 will be a boost to his side as they look to consolidate their top-flight status.

Read More: Turbulent off-season leaves Rossies facing stern challenges with new-look squad

"It's in great shape," revealed McStay of the new surface at the Hyde. "I said to someone when we were doing a thing before Christmas, that we played one match in Hyde Park last year, our home ground. One match.

"I think at one stage we were going for 13 different venues in a row. Now think about that.

"And the one match we played should never have been played there. It was a swamp the day we played Mayo. So we played League matches away from home.

"The Connacht final replay, which is forgotten by a lot of people, should have been in Hyde Park, not in Castlebar, but that was our fault, we didn't have a pitch.

"But it's in really nice nick. It's like a billiard table now. It's a fabulous big pitch, one of the biggest pitches in the country and it'll be at it's very best for the day we play Donegal.

"So that's something to really look forward. And we have the Hyde then for the rest of our home matches so that's good."

Irish Independent

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