When Kent Regional League club Saltwood CC was looking to replace its practice nets the club didn't anticipate the issues that its chosen site would bring into play, as Chairman Ian Oakes explains:
"We'd chosen a sloping area of the ground for the new nets, which we thought may be tricky at most. However, total-play was the only supplier that could meet our needs in terms of building a complete two-lane system, rather than proposing two single nets sited side-by-side on the slope. This, combined with the fact that we liked their single-carpet solution, rather than separate batting and bowling ends, was a winner."
Part of an extensive schedule of improvements, which also includes the refurbishment of pavilion and wickets and the appointment of new coaches with the aim developing the club's junior and senior teams, funding was secured from a range of sources; including the Foundation for Sports and the Arts, Roger de Haan Charitable Trust, and the Lord's Taverners.
total-play's solution to building the new nets system to standards set by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on the fairly steep slope involved comprehensive ground works prior to the construction of the new facility. Firstly the bank was cut away to provide the necessary levels before a French drain was installed; ensuring any run-off water from the adjacent bank could not enter the practice system and potentially damage the newly laid synthetic turf.
With the preparatory ground works complete, total-play went on to install a two lane, open-ended system to its ECB approved tp365 specification; which is designed to offer players a balanced game between bat and ball and whilst encouraging turn. The nets themselves have been constructed using total-play's 'Protection Tunnel' netting system, which forms a 'cocoon' in each lane to protect users from errant flying balls from adjacent lanes.
The facility is now in regular use and, according to Ian, has received great feedback: "The reaction to the new facility has been extremely positive, especially with the junior members who have made full use of the nets during the summer. The total-play team has been very easy to work with - the Project Manager was always on hand to answer any questions, and the installation team did a great job on site. I would recommend them to any club."
To discuss how total-play can develop a new practice nets facility to suit your club's specific needs call 01604 864575. For more information on total-play's full range of services, which includes the construction and maintenance of both natural and non-turf sports surfaces, visit www.total-play.co.uk