Sports surface specialist total-play Ltd has risen to the challenge set by Marches Cricket League side Bartestree & Lugwardine CC to build a bespoke new practice nets system incorporating a fully netted bowling end.
While the total-play Ltd team is accustomed to building fully enclosed systems, courtesy of its specially designed 'Protection Tunnel' system that cocoons lanes in a single, seamless piece of net, bowling end roofs are generally left open as the aim of the nets is to prevent balls escaping from the batting end. However, Bartestree & Lugwardine specifically requested that the bowling end include a 'roof' to avoid balls escaping and potentially smashing the solar panels on the Pavilion roof - or landing on spectators just outside the Pavilion - so total-play built this into their design for the system. Business Development Manager, James Coney, explains:
"We have developed the Protection Tunnel netting system with the aim of reducing the risk of errant balls passing between lanes in the batting ends by eliminating the risk of sagging and gaps being created between nets by effectively building a 'net cocoon' within each lane.
"That said, it's not often that we are asked to construct facilities with a completely enclosed bowling end, but every now and then a club such as Bartestree & Lugwardine has identified a site where there is a risk of balls escaping and hitting passers-by or vehicles. Discussing the site specifics at the club it was apparent that a bespoke addition would be a useful addition to the system and the rest is history - we're always keen to develop a solution that delivers a client's exact requirements; whether for functional or purely aesthetic purposes."
The roofed bowling end, approximately 10m x 10.9m, was added to the a new 3-lane 33m x 10.9m Protection Tunnel practice facility; with additional brackets fixed to all four sides of the framework and high-tension wires criss-crossed to hang nets and provide a roof net free of cable ties and yarn fixings. To complete the specification, total-play's ECB-approved non-turf surface design, tp365, was laid.
total-play's combination of expertise and its flexible approach certainly impressed the management committee at the club, which had secured funding for the project from a number of sources; including an ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board) SIS grant, The Lord's Taverners, The Bernard Sunley Foundation, The Rank Foundation, Carlsberg, a generous donation from local philanthropist Clive Richards OBE and the club's own fundraising activities. The club's Honorary Secretary, Nigel Shore, says:
"When the Club embarked on this project a little over a year ago, we invited all the ECB-approved suppliers to site, to assess the location and to discuss their designs with us. total-play's presentation of its system alongside the team's willingness to listen to and respond to our specific needs was outstanding.
"We were particularly keen on the total-play "Protection Tunnel" which avoids the use of cable ties to secure the nets - in most other designs I visited the nets had been cut by ties and sections were hanging loose where ties had snapped. When you add to the equation the fact that total-play's quote was on a par with those of the competitors and that the company has its own, dedicated in-house installation team rather than having to outsource the work to sub-contractors, it made our decision a very easy one. We're confident we made the right choice of supplier, and the total-play installation team did a great job with skill in record time.
"The fundraising side of things was hard work but definitely worth the effort - now the system has been installed we're delighted with the finished result and look forward to reaping the benefits of our investment for years to come."
To find out how total-play Ltd could help you design a bespoke cricket practice facility to meet your club's specific needs, and also offer advice on fundraising for such projects, call 01604 864575 or visit www.total-play.co.uk.