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Castlebar pitch looks ‘good to go’


GREENSHOOTS The scene at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park in Castlebar two weeks ago.

Michael Gallagher

THE Mayo News understands that it now looks increasingly likely that Mayo’s Connacht Senior Football Championship quarter-final against Galway on Sunday, April 24 will be played at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park.
A number of Croke Park staff with expertise in the area of pitch surfaces visited Castlebar recently and were said to be ‘very happy’ with the progress of the resurfacing work and covering of grass on the pitch, according to Mayo GAA secretary Dermot Butler.
“They were delighted with the surface and all signs are good,” he told The Mayo News last night. “The pitch looks fabulous and is being cut every day, or every second day, according to the instructions of the Croke Park experts.
“The weather has been particularly kind for growth and as far as we’re concerned, it will certainly be good to go for April 24.”
That news is sure to delight Mayo supporters who will throng into Castlebar for the big derby meeting — if the surface is given the green light by Connacht GAA chiefs.
The venue for the match — which could draw in the region of 20,000 Mayo and Galway fans to Hastings Insurance MacHale Park — will be decided and confirmed by the provincial council in the coming days, according to Connacht GAA secretary John Prenty.
“It’s a provincial game so it’s up to us to fix it,” he told The Mayo News last night (Monday).
“At the moment we haven’t had any feedback about the redevelopment in Castlebar, so we cannot make a ruling. However, we expect to have a report with us in the coming days and we’d hope to have a venue sorted out within the next week.”
Meanwhile, Dermot Butler has urged Mayo supporters to get their tickets for next Sunday’s National League Division 1 clash with Kildare in Carrick-on-Shannon as soon as possible.
“As the ad says - ‘when they’re gone, they’re gone’ - and that will definitely be the case this week. There will be a lot of interest in the game as both teams can still make the final and Kildare could also be relegated if things went wrong for them.
“So lots of people will be hoping to be there.”


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