Koro's Victory Parade
A Koro Field TopMaker from Campey Turf Care Systems has enabled a Suffolk sports club to not only renovate its cricket pitch in readiness for next year, but also to achieve a radical improvement in its quality.
The Victory Sports Ground in Bury St Edmunds covers more than 15 acres. It was founded to mark the end of World War I by the Greene King brewery for its employees. Twenty-five years ago the land was handed over to the local council, and it is now leased by Victory Sports Ground Co Ltd for soccer, tennis and cricket.
Company Director Bob Flack maintains the cricket pitch. He became fascinated by grounds care in his retirement and has worked hard during the last three years to improve the square and outfield. A keen cricketer himself, his aim is to achieve a fast, flat wicket that pleases both batsmen and bowlers.
Bob regularly scarifies to remove thatch before overseeding, but for a more thorough end of season renovation he called in local contractor Peter Knight of Bury Turfcare. He recommended the Koro Field TopMaker, to restore a true surface and invigorate the soil.
The Koro Field TopMaker skims off the top surface to an adjustable depth - in Victory's case 10mm with each pass. It removed shallow-rooting annual meadowgrass and spongy thatch that inhibits healthy grass growth. This exposed the roots of the desired perennial ryegrass, enabling them to subsequently flourish.
The machine was also used several times across the centre of the square, in both directions, to remove a slight camber to restore the true and consistent ball bounce. In the affected area, a total soil depth of approximately 50mm was removed.
To complete the project, Peter Knight fitted the special scarifying head to the Koro Field TopMaker. This provided linear aeration of the pitch surface and made it ready for seeding and topdressing.
"A true, flat surface keeps everyone happy," says Bob Flack. "It enables bowlers to perform at their best, and batsmen can get their eye in more quickly. It makes for a better game and more entertainment for the spectators."
With interest in cricket having reached a peak after England's historic Ashes victory, other clubs around the country will be looking to equipment like the Koro Field TopMaker to ensure they have pitches of the best possible quality.