Pictured at the pitch inspection were Michael Duignan, Greg Whatley, Jim Kelly, Michael Hensey, Stuart Wilson and Dr Stephen Baker.
The 2021 GAA County Grounds Pitch of the Year Award has been claimed by Meath’s County Ground at Páirc Tailteann in Navan, with Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork named as the runner up and O'Connor Park in Tullamore just missing out.
The Offaly GAA County Board and the ground workers in O'Connor Park were delighted to have the ground short listed as they have worked really hard at improving the quality of the pitch in recent years.
Last week, visits were made to five GAA grounds to complete the assessments for the awards scheme.
Based on pitch marks from the referees, the nominated counties (in alphabetical order) were Cork (Páirc Uí Chaoimh), Kilkenny (Nowlan Park), Meath (Páirc Tailteann, Navan), Offaly (O’Connor Park, Tullamore) and Waterford (Walsh Park).
A wide range of measurements and assessments were made by Stuart Wilson (Pitch Manager, Croke Park) and Dr Stephen Baker (STRI) including grass cover, root depth, playing quality, usage, the management programme and resources.
The pitch awards were first carried out in 2017 and the standard of pitches examined has improved considerably over the intervening five years, making this the closest competition yet.
The winners and runners-up will receive prizes from Turfcare, ICL and Campey Turf Care.
Meath as winners will awarded the trophy at an upcoming fixture in Croke Park in 2022.
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