GAA officials are adamant that Cusack Park in Ennis will be ready to host Sunday’s winner-takes-all Shannonside derby.
The final round Allianz Hurling League clash of Limerick and Clare carries the prize of promotion and although redevelopment works continue this week in the Ennis venue, all are confident that it will be ready.
Davy Fitzgerald’s Clare beat Ciaran Carey’s Kerry last Sunday and the new stand remained closed as did the dressing rooms.
But officials are confident that the majority of their €2.3million upgrade will be finalised by Sunday.
Were there to be any further delays, Clare would have to forfeit home advantage and travel to Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds as the Ennis capacity without the stand would be just under 10,000 and not suitable for the derby game.
“We will be ready. There’s work to be done and we are focused on getting it done,” said Clare GAA chairman Joe Cooney.
“If we weren’t in a position to open all four areas this Sunday, consideration would have to be given to where the game would have been played. The capacity of the stadium with just the three terraces open is around 10,000 and I am not sure if that would be sufficient to cater for the large crowd we expect this weekend. The bottom line is that it is all systems go for Sunday,” insists the chairman.
Limerick go to Ennis for the first time since the 2011 Division 1B league final. The Donal O’Grady managed Limerick won that final but promotion never materialised after Croke Park officials restructured the league.
Ahead of Sunday, Limerick are in their sixth season outside of the top flight in the league, while Clare are seeking an immediate return after relegation last Spring when losing a play-off against Kilkenny.
Sunday’s game has a 2.00 start and while it will be televised live on TG4, an attendance in excess of 10,00 is expected. Supporters are urged to purchase tickets in advance from Centre outlets or online at gaa.ie/tickets
Tickets purchased ahead of match day carry a €5 discount.