Budleigh CC pitch hit by the rain

PUBLISHED: 12:05 14 May 2015 | UPDATED: 14:57 14 May 2015

The Ottermouth pitch mid-afternoon on a Thursday before the next match day

The Ottermouth pitch mid-afternoon on a Thursday before the next match day

Archant

The Ottermouth home of Budleigh Salterton once again looks set not to be able to host cricket this coming weekend (May 16), writes Stephen Birley.

Matchday three of the Tolchards Devon League looks set not to see any action at Ottermouth after the early Thursday morning rain.

The ground was unfit for play on matchday one owing to the weather that wiped out 90 per cent of the league fixtures set for that date.

A week later (May 9), despite wall-to-wall sunshine, Ottermouth was one of just three grounds across the county that were unable to stage cricket, that owing to three or four areas of bog on the outfield – the square was in perfect order, but the troublesome outfield scuppered any hopes of play.

The Ottermouth ground is surrounded by a dyke which is connected to the sea front and it is that that appears to be at the forefront of the problems as underlined by the clubs 1st XI skipper Lloyd White who explained: “If this dyke is not emptied then when it rains heavily as it did before the 1st XI meeting with Bradninch and again prior to the 2nd XI fixture with Cornwood this weekend, the dyke fills up and the surface water which is at the ground has nowhere to go and so simply sits on the surface of the outfield. Two years ago we spent £30,000 on new drainage to help improve the situation. We have three water hogs (equipment that soaks up surface water) at the club and had two volunteers and our grounds man ‘hogging’ water off the ground for four days in a row last week. The dyke cannot be emptied by just anyone - they have to be licensed - and it takes a huge digger to remove the pebbles and debris that the tide brings in with it.”

He continued: “We did all we possibly could to get the game on against Bradninch and that involves man hours on the surface as well as man hours off it – the latter trying to find an alternative ground. I shall of course continue to try and find an alternative venue for the 2nd XI match for it really does look as if Ottermouth is ging to be unfit for business once again this weekend. It is hard to see what more we could do at our club to get cricket on.”

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