Although it has been a while since I last published a 'blog' but this does not mean that things have been quiet at the Rec.
The second team had a game last Saturday winning by 3 runs in a game that saw 400 runs scored on pitch 2. As the game went on the pitch became slower and lower which was a reflection that the pitch had become too dry. So on Tuesday the pitch was watered for several hours to give it a good soaking. John was able to give it a good roll and by yesterday the pitch was hard again but not too dry.
We use a sprinkler which only covers half of the pitch so every hour it needs to be moved to the other half of the pitch. This is a real bind if I am not working at the Rec, so I have ordered a sprinkler hose which should just about cover the length of the pitch.
The first team had a good game yesterday with almost 300 runs being hit. The pitch played well justifying the decision to water it. It should have been a relatively straight-forward win, but once again we very nearly managed to conjure up a loss. Thanks to some level-headed batting at the end the team won by 3 wickets. There was a short interval for rain which meant that both covers came on for a while.
I noticed last week that some worm casts were starting to appear so it was time to spray the square with a chemical to discourage the worms from appearing. This was done last Tuesday whilst watering pitch 2. Hopefully it will be well washed in later today.
For years I have been using a wheel barrow with a cracked plastic wheel and a patched-up body, so it was time for a new one. After much searching and some issues with my order getting lost, the new barrow arrived on Wednesday.
With the weather forecast predicting rain by lunch, it was an early start this morning.
First job was to sweep the pitch after yesterday's game. It was encouraging to see that the repairs that I had done during the week had held up well. If I get the mix right and it dries properly, it really does set hard as the picture shows.
Then it was time to get some fertilizer on the square so that it will be washed in this afternoon.
The first team will play on pitch 4 next week so the next job this morning was to start preparing it. After cutting the grass down as low as I could it was time to do the really hard work of using the SISIS Combirake. This really does lift the matted grass up, but it takes a lot of effort.
After raking and cutting 3 times along the length of the pitch and raking once across the pitch, it is now ready for rolling. To get it to this stage took almost 2 hours. There is more work to do on it during the week, in addition to rolling, but thankfully the hardest and most important part has been done. The weather forecast for the next two days it not good so it was important that this work was done this morning.
The new barrow was full of the grass that I had removed, most of it after the raking. It was nice to have to make only one trip to the area where we scatter the grass.
We have come across a company who will apply for grants on your behalf on a 'no grant, no fee' basis. I have spent a couple of hours filling in their initial form which they will use to assess whether we are likely to be successful with a grant application. If they think we are they will do the rest and charge us 10% of any grant they get for us. We have 2 projects in mind: mobile covers and an extension to the scorebox. We keep our fingers crossed that they will progress this for us.