Cricket Field Reconstructed!
At the conclusion of their successful 2016 season which saw St. Asaph regain their place in the Premier Division, tractors moved in to plough up the outfield and begin the process of laser levelling the ground and carrying out other works
which will give St. Asaph Cricket Club a premier division ground to equal any in
North Wales and beyond.
Overlooked by their superb new pavilion, the groundwork benefitted from a spell of cooperative weather maintaining dry conditions throughout the project. A welcome spell of rain on completion of the work encouraged seed to germinate and, within three weeks the field regained a green appearance.
The transformation of the cricket outfield has been due to a partnership between the Cricket Club and 360 Ground Care, a locally based company.
Bryan Lewis- Jones, 360 Ground Care, told the City Times, “Having spent the 2016 season watching St Asaph play cricket while enjoying the odd G&T, I became somewhat obsessive about the outfield and the 'waves' that dominated the outfield. The 'waves' were not as a result of the G&T's, but quite considerable changes in level.
How could we play premier league cricket, on a decidedly second class outfield?
Club Chairman, Gareth and I debated long and hard and after much deliberation, on the weekend after the last match of the 2016 season, and with a blind leap of faith, we sprayed the whole thing with glyphosate - no going back now then? We'd need a big effort, great support and a whole lot of luck!! The effort and support were never going to be an issue, but if the weather turned gangster we would all be in trouble.”
“All of the material that was excavated for the new pavilion three years ago, together with what came out for the new patio area, and a pile more besides was graded and sieved. We 'found' ourselves 250 tonnes of additional topsoil that we didn't have previously. We rotavated with two passes, then stoneburied the whole outfield. We then lasered and levelled with a Bobcat Laser Level, ably piloted by James Larmani under the watchful eye and guiding light of Club Vice President Tom Lloyd Ellis of Bodelwyddan. It took three days, mostly enveloped in a cloud of dust, to produce the finish that we now see in the picture below.
We then stoneburied again, before rolling the area. Following which we applied fertiliser and direct drilled the seed in two directions. Miles Todd did the whole job in an even greater cloud of dust, it was thirsty work. Job done.”
“All of the above was done with the benefit of absolutely fantastic autumn weather, now we needed the last ingredient! Five days later it came - the rain!”
“As we all know, a watched kettle never boils, well the same goes for grass seed! Despite daily checks, the grass didn't grow until the grass was ready to grow, and now look at it!”
“With some careful nurturing and management in the spring, not just the grounds but also the teams playing from St Asaph, WILL be the envy of the North Wales Cricket League. Not just for our Cricket, our Wicket and our Outfield but also our Gin and Tonic's!”
Credits: Gareth Ryan, Club Chairman; Jill Ryan, Catering supremo and the most patient voice of reason; Will, Dan & Matt Ryan; Ken Hodgkinson, Wise old owl, ever dependable; James Larmani, Mr Laser and Level; Tom Lloyd Ellis, Ever watchful guiding hand; Miles Todd, nothing he doesn't know about grass; Harri Thomas, ever the enthusiast; Louis Collinge; Head of micro excavations; Ali Parsonage, Emergency catering arrangements; Dave North; Bryan Lewis - Jones, Controller of 'The Gin Shelf'. Gin procurement and tasting specialist; and anybody else??
Eight weeks after the completion of work the grass seed has germinated to produce a basic covering which will be nurtured and managed in the spring to produce a vigorous growth in readiness for the 2017 playing season on a level