Lechlade Cricket Club in Gloucestershire is reporting noticeable improvements in the condition and consistency of its wickets since the arrival of a new Allett Tournament 20 pedestrian mower in May.
Equipped as standard with a powered turf groomer, the mower was supplied by local Allett dealer, Lister Wilder, following competitive demonstrations arranged on the square by head groundsman, Nigel Pearce.
"There was very little difference in the overall finish produced on the day by the two mowers that made the final short list," commented Nigel. "However, the Allett scored top marks for ease of handling, its simple, yet accurate height adjustment and its all-round value for money. The club was impressed also with the level of service and attention to detail shown by Allett and by Lister Wilder during the purchasing process. These were key factors in Allett being awarded the order."
Affiliated to the Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Cricket Boards, the West of England Premier League and the Cotswold District Cricket Association, Lechlade Cricket Club was founded in 1886 in the grounds of Lechlade Manor, with home matches having been played ever since at the Manor Ground.
Steady investment has been made over the past 25 years to upgrade the club's buildings, ground and associated equipment, accompanied by the forging of closer links with the local community and encouraging young players to take up and improve their game. Lechlade Cricket Club currently has three adult teams and three youth teams, the latter catering for under 13's, under 11's and under 9's with high attendance by youngsters at Friday evening coaching sessions.
In common with many of the improvements seen at the club in recent years, money for the new Allett mower came from a specific fund-raising event supported by matched funding from a local business. Having taken the decision to replace its ageing former wicket mower, Lechlade Cricket Club organised a sporting dinner with former England Test Cricket captain, Nasser Hussain, as guest speaker. Top-up funds for the Tournament 20 were provided by Sweet Fuels, a local distributor of liquid fuel and lubricants.
"The difference in the wickets was noted within two weeks of the Allett mower first going to work, with positive comments coming from players, spectators and umpires," commented Nigel. "The combined benefits of a close, even cut and the lifting and removal of laterals by the groomer can be seen in the way that the grass is now growing. Additionally, mowing is now far more efficient and effective, so wicket preparation has become quicker and easier. It would be no exaggeration to say that the new mower has helped move playing standards to a consistently higher level."
Pictures :-Head groundsman, Nigel Pearce (right), with honorary club secretary, Jonathan Merrett, and Lechlade Cricket Club's new Allett Tournament mower, purchased by means of a fund-raising event and matched funding from a local business.
Preparing a top-class wicket for the next match. Head groundsman, Nigel Pearce, at the controls of Lechlade Cricket Club's new Allett Tournament 20 fine-turf mower.
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