Sunday 19 August 2018

Venue blow for Rossies if they reach Connacht final

Dr Hyde Park is experiencing capacity and safety-related problems. Photo: Sportsfile
Dr Hyde Park is experiencing capacity and safety-related problems. Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Roscommon's chances of winning a second successive Connacht football title could take a major hit if they and Galway qualify for the final on June 17.

The rota system entitles Roscommon to host Galway in their next championship game but it has now emerged that Dr Hyde Park is experiencing capacity and safety-related problems.

The matter will be discussed tonight at a meeting of the Connacht Council, where it's likely that the ground will be ruled out as the venue for the final, irrespective of the pairing.

Roscommon face Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday, with Galway hosting Sligo in Pearse Stadium in the second semi-final eight days later.

Roscommon and Galway are odds-on favourites to reach the final for a third successive year.

They drew in Pearse Stadium in 2016, while Galway won the replay in Castlebar after Dr Hyde Park was ruled out. Roscommon beat Galway in Pearse Stadium last year.

The Roscommon team and supporters would love to return to Dr Hyde Park for a Connacht final, but it's understood that there are serious concerns over safety - and other - issues at the ground, where the current capacity is 18,000.

Of course, Leitrim and/or Sligo may tear up the script, in which case the final would probably be played in Castlebar.

Irish Independent

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