0 Rugby woe

Rugby woe

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By Paul Markham

Bradford & Bingley Sports Club Groundsman, Paul Markham bemoans the rain in his latest report.

'Rain drops keep failing on my head'

How true this song is. At the time of writing our rugby pitches, particularly the main pitch, are waterlogged.

We have a backlog of matches and so the first team are at home for the next three weeks and if we don't play tomorrow (Saturday, March 16) the season will probably run into May.

With few funds to play with our resources are low and I have to do whatever I can in the circumstances. A repetition of slitting and rolling is near enough all I can do. The slits penetrate five inches into the ground and this is done is both directions and as often as I can afford the time.

If I had the money I would look towards verti-draining and the spreading of a sand based top dressing to add to the drainage amelioration.

This would help to cure the problem of a saturated mud surface we now have with us due to a heavy load of senior and junior fixtures.

The river, which runs alongside our grounds, governs the state of the pitches for the most part and, after heavy rainfall, the water backs up the pipes as the river rises.

When the water disperses, often a residue of silt is formed and this adds to the drainage problem. It is almost like a barrier forming on top, stopping the water from draining freely.

Let's face it - February was a wet month and the river burst its banks again flooding most of the main first team rugby pitch which meant another trying time for all and especially for me.

With met office forecasting milder, wetter winters the drainage problems at our grounds are going to have to be addressed.

The new Aire Valley relief road that is being built to free congestion in Bingley town centre, is running close to our land.

Negotiations are going ahead into tapping into their drainage system. Time will tell what the outcome is.

In the meantime, we hope for better sunny days as the song says, 'The sun has got its hat on hip, hip, hip hooray'

See you next time.

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