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Mayo defend McHale surface

Mayo have defended the quality of their McHale Park pitch, which came in for scathing criticism from Down forward Martin Clarke after Saturday's NFL match there.

"I'd say it was one of the worst grounds I've ever played at -- it was nothing but sand," he claimed. "The ball simply didn't bounce. It was like playing on a beach in Melbourne."

Mayo secretary Sean Feeney said: "We sanded it heavily in October. Then the snow and frost came and it wasn't washed down sufficiently. Too much of that sand has stayed on the surface. There wasn't much we could do.

"But we are disappointed by Martin's criticism because there were a number of people, including the local journalists who come here quite often, who thought the surface looked in great condition.

"There was so much rain down here that we were contacted by Croke Park to see if the game would actually go ahead. But there was never a danger it wouldn't."

Meanwhile, Mayo's Conor Mortimer is to undergo knee surgery later this week to repair a damaged ligament that will keep him out of action for the season.

Irish Independent