Availability of Hyde Park in the balance as Dubs due

‘Worst pitch I’ve played on’ – O’Shea

With the Eirgrid U-21 Connacht Championship Final moved from Dr. Hyde Park to Markievicz Park in Sligo this Saturday and Mayo star, Aidan O’Shea, describing the Roscommon venue as the worst pitch he has ever played on, doubts about the pitch’s availability remain ahead of Roscommon’s Allianz Division One clash with Dublin this Sunday.

The Roscommon town venue has had its fair share of problems this year with previous games against Monaghan and Down moved to alternative venues.

The loss of a potential ‘glamour tie’ against the All-Ireland champions would be another huge blow to the town’s economy.

Mayo star Aidan O’Shea echoed the sentiments of many spectators at last Sunday’s game when he told People Sport: “Conditions were crazy, to be honest. I never played on any pitch as bad as that one.”

Roscommon GAA PRO, Hugh Lynn insisted that every effort is being made to ensure that the game will proceed at Dr. Hyde Park. “Roscommon GAA expect to play in the Hyde and we want to play there on Sunday.

This game is against the All-Ireland and National Football League champions – the best team in the land –and every effort is being made to stage the game there. As it stands, the game is going ahead in the Hyde.”

Roscommon County Board Chairman, Seamus Sweeney, had earlier stated: “We want to host the All-Ireland champions in Hyde Park. I’m confident that Peter Murray and his wonderful team will have the pitch playable for Sunday.” At the time of going to press, the weather would suggest differently however.

While the Roscommon County Board and ground staff have worked tirelessly to repair the surface in time for Sunday, the weather hasn’t helped.

With more rain forecast, the venue has very little time to recover in time to host the Dubs, and alternative venues will no doubt be considered. With Markievicz Park already scheduled to host the U-21 game on Saturday, Carrick-on-Shannon could well come into play.