Sunday 19 November 2017

Roscommon still confident Hyde Park will be fit to host visiting Dublin

Torrential rain last Saturday evening and Sunday morning, made the troublesome Dr Hyde Park surface almost unplayable but the match against Mayo was eventually given the green light by referee Maurice Deegan. Photo: Sportsfile
Torrential rain last Saturday evening and Sunday morning, made the troublesome Dr Hyde Park surface almost unplayable but the match against Mayo was eventually given the green light by referee Maurice Deegan. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Roscommon County Board will be keeping another watchful eye on the weather forecast this weekend as they prepare to welcome Dublin for their final regulation Division One league match.

Torrential rain last Saturday evening and Sunday morning, made the troublesome Dr Hyde Park surface almost unplayable but the match against Mayo was eventually given the green light by referee Maurice Deegan.

Pools of surface water were visible, making conditions treacherous, as Mayo took a significant leap to safety.

Roscommon insist that the Dublin game will go ahead despite adverse weather being forecast for Friday in parts of the country.

The Connacht U-21 final between Roscommon and Mayo is scheduled for Dr Hyde Park on Saturday but that now looks almost certain to be moved.

With Kiltoom not having a sufficient capacity - a restriction of just under 3,000 was put on it for the opening league match against Monaghan - Roscommon look set to lose home advantage with a possible move to Pairc Sean MacDiarmada in Carrick on Shannon or Markievicz Park in Sligo.

Bigger

Last year's Connacht U-21 final between Roscommon and Galway drew a crowd of around 5,000 and a Roscommon/Mayo final could be expected to have an even bigger attendance.

Roscommon are planning a significant upgrade on Dr Hyde Park but the pitch surface is the priority and with a possible Connacht semi-final there in June they intend to do extensive remedial work after that which will involve shutting it down until 2017.

They have already been forced to move three games out of 'Hyde' this year. The Connacht League semi-final against Mayo moved to MacHale Park in Castlebar in January, the Monaghan game went to Kiltoom while the Down game was switched to Pearse Park in Longford when it became apparent earlier this month that the pitch would not cope with it.

Roscommon have put everything into ensuring that their final two games, against Mayo and Dublin, can be staged at their premier ground. But if they are forced out of there again due to worsening weather, Pearse Park is not an option because Longford host Westmeath there in a big Division Three midlands derby.

The next best option could be O'Connor Park in Tullamore with Offaly away to Limerick this weekend.

Dr Hyde Park was not the only pitch close to being deemed unplayable last weekend. Pools of water stretched across Healy Park for Tyrone and Armagh on Saturday night.

Irish Independent

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