Last week was a challenging week for a cricket groundsman. The rain started in Copmanthorpe Sunday afternoon and continued on and off until Wednesday. Wednesday was a nice day until tea time when there was another heavy downpour. It would not have been so bad if we had roll-on covers, but with only having lay-flat covers it was not feasible to have them down at the start of the week. Surprisingly the square and outfield took the rain well and despite my worries by the start of the game on Saturday we had a new pitch to play on, but one that was still soft.
The game started in good weather but before long it was raining, the players came off and the covers went on. Then they came off and the players back on and half an hour later the whole sequence was repeated.
Tea was taken early, league rules consulted regularly, calculations made and agreed which eventually result in a much shortened game with all the complications of how many overs the team batting second needed in order for the team batting first to have a result ending in 'draw'.
Despite all of my concerns the pitch played well and not as much as I feared might have been done, was done.
There is a lot of cricket to be played at Copmanthorpe over the next month and I am beginning to run out of pitches. Usually I can manage with 5 perhaps 6 pitches but this year I will need to go on to pitch 7. So yesterday I started to prepare pitch 7 for the second team this coming Saturday and a friendly game on Sunday. We are hiring the ground out and this will bring in some useful funding.
This pitch has not been used for a few years and so there was a lot of thatch in it. Half way through scarifying it with the Combi-rake one of the bolts broke!
Fortunately it didn't stop me finishing the scarifying, but it is off to the ironmongers in Tadcaster this morning to get a replacement bolt.
After a couple of hours hard graft, pitch 7 was starting to look good.
A lot more work will be needed on it this week, but with a reasonable weather forecast it should dry out well.
The new sprinkler hose arrived earlier in the week which was a little ironic considering the weather. Hopefully it won't be too long before I need to use it.
The square is started to grow a few weeds so later in the week I will try and spray it. Despite spraying for worms a couple of weeks ago there were still plenty of worm casts on one of the old pitches. Perhaps it needs a little longer to take effect, but the damp worm casts cut stuck to the mower's rollers and adjust the cutting height.
With the sun out as I type, perhaps this will be a good week for a groundsman!