Pitch in top condition for greener future

Date published: Thursday, May 19, 2011

OLDHAM RL Club have spent heavily on four days of work by turf specialists SGC which will hopefully create a pristine playing surface at the Whitebank Stadium.

Based in Ashton-under-Lyne, the company operates all over the country and has worked on well-known football, cricket and rugby grounds, golf courses and the tracks at top horse-racing venues.

In this region they have made the grass greener for Manchester United, Oldham Athletic, Lancashire County Cricket Club and Saddleworth Golf Club.

“The work will cost several thousands of pounds,” said Roughyeds chairman Chris Hamilton, “and hopefully it will be seen to be money well spent. It’s a major investment in our asset.

“We always knew this work would have to be done, but we couldn’t do it last year because we didn’t get into Whitebank until May and it was too late then to start altering fixtures.

“This year we asked the RFL to give us a mid-season run of away games to enable the work to be done and allow nature to then work its magic in the sun and the rain.

“We will be talking to SGC about what we need to do over the next few years to give the pitch the best chance of steadily improving year on year.”

It has been cleared of weeds and dead grass, scarified, re-seeded and fed with a top dressing.

The last match at Whitebank was the 46-24 win against Doncaster on May 1 and the next game there will be on Sunday, June 12 when South Wales Scorpions visit.

The Reserves, who play at Leigh on Sunday (12.45pm kick off), have released Austen Barrowclough, who was on professional forms, and Stephen Lynch..

Radio reporter Kevin Fitzpatrick, once a sidestepping full-back for Roughyeds, will be guest speaker at the club’s mid-season dinner at Whitebank next Thursday, May 26. Vocalist and comedienne Donna Olsen will entertain. For tickets or more information ring Janet on 0161 628 3677.