0 The Colour of a Semi- Final

The Colour of a Semi- Final

We were privileged to host one of the F A Cup semi-finals here last Sunday. I say privileged because it really is a day to remember. The people who come to a semi are all out for a good time and really just a good day out.

Wasn't there once a Welshman who said it was all about being there ?

I began to irrigate on Saturday as the weather here in Manchester has been fantastic. Quite cold at night with a touch of frost some nights but the days have been glorious, warm sunshine with day time temperatures up to as high as 17c on a couple of occasions. Bright sunny days with a breeze that has dried out the wettest of grounds.

Got in early on Sunday. Double cut and rolled. Even as we bring the " Buffalos" out of my store there are fans here already, wandering about waving flags and singing.

We mark out and begin to irrigate. There is a change in the forecast, we expect a bit of drizzle. We irrigate and it does begin to rain. Not more than a millimetre and it just helps to keep the blades of grass wet and slick for the game.

The warm up is not too bad, but Middlesbrough are out for an eternity. The keepers are out even at half time to keep warm.

The noise and the colour was such that it hit you in the face as the teams came out for the game.

I always feel a bit sorry for the losers in a semi, so near and yet so far away…

The pitch played well and looked terrific. I never saw it on the television but people told me that the pattern and colour were both very good.

I got home at around 7.30pm and put the TV on to have a look at the other semi final being played at Villa Park.

I must congratulate Tony Eden and his staff on a fine job. You would never believe that they had been at home the day before in the Premiership. The pitch looked really well.

It all goes to show, if you have a bit of luck with the weather and play at the right time of year, you can get away with more usage of your pitch.

So, an all-London final down in Cardiff. May the best team win!

Keith Kent

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