CORK ladies’ football manager Ephie Fitzgerald doesn’t believe that the possibility of his side being unable to play any Lidl NFL Division 1 games in Páirc Uí Chaoimh this year is a major issue.
The reigning league champions had been due to take on Tipperary at the venue on February 23rd, before the men’s game against Meath, and Donegal on March 16th prior to the meeting of the counties’ men’s sides.
However, a statement from the GAA on behalf of Cork County Board said that Saturday's Allianz HL Division 1A clash between Cork and Clare would take place at Páirc Uí Rinn due to the ‘unacceptable’ nature of the Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch on Sunday for the football game against Kildare and hurling clash with Wexford.
The Cork ladies are also due to play in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in the championship, clashing with Kerry there on June 1st. Fitzgerald believes that this will be a more important occasion while he also hopes that the scheduled double-headers will take place in Páirc Uí Rinn, which would still represent a first.
‘We’ll have to wait and see,’ he says.
‘I’d imagine that, if we don’t have the double-headers in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, they’ll still take place in Páirc Uí Rinn and that would still be a big thing for the girls as a lot of them wouldn’t have played there either.
‘From our point of view, it’s not a massive thing, I presume a lot of it is weather-dependent. The pitch will need to be replaced and there are a lot of issues around the project as a whole, not the pitch, but we’re focused on ourselves.
‘It is what it is and if we don’t get in there in the league it won’t be the end of the world as we’ll have the championship game there anyway.’
As well as the Clare and Donegal football games, the Cork hurlers are due to take on Tipperary at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday, March 3rd.
The county board communication stated that the surface will be assessed on the Monday before each upcoming game, with a decision to be made then.
As well as the Cork-Clare hurling game, February 16th will also see Páirc Uí Rinn host a schools double-header as Midleton CBS meet CBC in the Dr Harty Cup (Munster PPS U19AHC) final at 2pm. That game is preceded by the meeting of Hamilton High School of Bandon and Rochestown’s St Francis College in the B decider at 12 noon.