BY KIERAN McCARTHY
PÃIRC UÃ Chaoimh's eye-catching new pitch is one of the very best in the country, according to Stephen Forrest, owner of Turftech.
The Blarney company has completely rebuilt the pitch in PÃ¡irc UÃ Chaoimh, and Forrest is extremely proud of the finished product that will get its first serious test this weekend when it hosts two All-Ireland senior hurling quarter-finals.
âThe distance between Croke Park and the rest of the pitches around the country, we would like to think that we have closed that gap considerably,' Forrest said.
âThis pitch is a very high standard.'
From digging out the old surface, changing the soil type, installing a new drainage system, building a back-up, installing an irrigation system and laying the new surface, Forrest and Turftech have work tirelessly to ensure the new pitch will stand up to every job asked of it.Â
âAt the outset we sat down with the Cork County Board to look at all aspects and what the demands of the pitch would be,' he explained.
âWith floodlights there will be more games during the darker months, it is a multi-purpose venue and it will be used for concerts and potentially for the Rugby World Cup, so we took all those into consideration.'
Using a mixture of perennial rye grass and dwarf perennial rye grass â high wearing and visually good-looking grasses which are tried and tested the world over â Forrest believes that players will enjoy the experience of playing on this impressive pitch.
âThey can expect a very consistent performing pitch,' Forrest said.
âThe goal for us is that the pitch is consistently good no matter the time of day or year.
âWe have a lot of elements under our control so we can keep the surface as consistent as possible.
âThe height at which the grass is cut is the standard height, we're at 30 millimetres like most.
âThe perennial rye grass that we are using is above in Croke Park so anyone who has played there will be very familiar with its characteristics.
âWhat we want to achieve is consistency so when we play a game, the player is physically confident in the pitch's ability to let them do what they can do and will not give way underneath them and not affect the play in any negative way.'
Forrest added: âWhen people arrive at PÃ¡irc UÃ ChaoimhÂ for the first time they will be impressed by the complete package and it's something that every Cork person can be very proud of, and what we have produced is a pitch that is fitting for the surroundings that it now sits in.'