Accrington Cricket Club

Accrington Groundsman Ian McCrae looks back at the 2008 season

A few statistics, a few comparisons and a few ground notes and comments.
Firstly statistics and comparisons.
In 2008
80 matches planned .. only 53 played.
Total runs in first team games  - 4066 for 208 wickets.(Including Worsely Cup Tie v Enfield)
Average match  - 310 runs for 16 wickets, (average runs per wicket 20).
In 2007
84 matches planned  .. only 57 played.
Total runs in first team games  - 2644 for 158 wickets.
Average match  - 264 runs for 16 wickets, (average runs per wicket 17).
In 2006, 130 hours rolling done on the square.
In 2007, 90 hours rolling and in 2008 112 hours rolling.
Secondly a few ground notes:-
The square was put to bed a couple of weeks ago.

It was scarified, reseeded, fertilised and topdressed in that order. Additionally with the added bonus, (although essential), was the fact that the square has been verti-drained. Verti-draining involves punching holes at 4 inch intervals down to a depth  of, on our square, of 7 inches.

The conditions were ideal, plenty of moisture in the ground to enable good penetration and with the top dressing well washed in ,causing little surface damage.
Because of the hours spent rolling the square it is imperative to alleviate this compaction during the autumn with plenty of aeration.

The machinery I can loan is outdated and inefficient for this.
Three years ago, out of his own pocket, someone paid for verti-draining the square.
A different anonymous club member said he would pay for this.

However I got a tip off from Stanley's groundsman that a couple of weeks ago they were having their pitch done. Fortunately I was able to strike a deal up with the 'foreigner' to verti-drain our square after he had done Stanleys. Cost £80, a bargain.
No doubt the price would have been at least double if  he hadn't already been next door and had the time to do ours same day.

The money taken from the players' collections during the summer for ground improvements will pay for this. Thanks lads.

Hopefully the benefactor's money that wasn't spent on verti-draining can be re-directed and spent on weedkilling the outfield next summer. No weedkilling has been done on the outfield for well over ten years and it desperately needs doing.

Although I'm qualified to do chemical spraying we haven't the equipment. The 'foreigner ' has the equipment and expertise and is cheap. Incidentally Accy's ground is naturally fast draining but like every other grass surface needs artifical help.

Perhaps next  autumn we should look at verti-draining the entire ground now that football is played on two sides of the outfield and that recently rugby was played on another side.

I hope the club will budget more for the ground in the future.I know money's tight, but it will always be. I've been working on a minimal budget for years and if you don't spend a bit now you will pay a lot more later. Weedkilling and aeration are basic maintenance operations not luxuries.
Finally a few thoughts on last weeks 'evening with Bumble'.
A huge success, a sell-out with a hundred plus present. Plenty of reminiscences in his talk from the sixties up to date.

Plenty of memories and characters recalled with affection whatever  particular or peculiar traits they had all delivered by Bumble as only he can.
An excellent potato pie with additions in the tearoom. Thanks ladies.
An informative question and answer, a quiz, a raffle and auction. All in all  a super night full of laughs with the club financially better off.  
I was surprised that there weren't more ex players there to enjoy the crack. Their decision.
Winter well ....Ian Mac.



The Club