Páirc Tailteann is pitch perfect as playing surface comes out tops

Meath county ground beats Páirc Uí Chaoimh to top spot

Meath’s county ground Páirc Tailteann, which is in line for major redevelopment, received a lift on Thursday when its playing surface was announced as winner of the GAA county grounds pitch of the year award.

Runner-up was Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Final assessments on the five nominated pitches took place last week before the Navan venue was declared the winner.

According to the GAA release, "a wide range of measurements and assessments were made by Stuart Wilson (Pitch Manager, Croke Park) and Dr Stephen Baker (Sports Turf Research Institute) including grass cover, root depth, playing quality, usage, the management programme and resources."

Also nominated were: Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park, winner of the past two awards, O’Connor Park in Offaly and Walsh Park, Waterford. The scheme has been running since 2017 but didn’t take place last year because of the very curtailed pandemic season.

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Had the award been adjudicated for 2020, this year’s runner-up would surely have been in line given the torrential rain that fell in Cork twice last November for Munster matches between Tipperary and Limerick (hurling) and Cork and Kerry (football) with the pitch standing up miraculously to the deluges.