Pitch battle: Lancaster hit back after wicket deemed unfit for play

Jamie Heywood in action for Lancaster against Netherfield.
Jamie Heywood in action for Lancaster against Netherfield.

Lancaster Cricket Club have hit back at claims the postponement of their Northern League game with Chorley was “embarrassing” for the club.

The Lune Road pitch was deemed unfit for play on bank holiday Monday with Windsor Park player-coach Gaurav Dhar saying the wicket was “worse than a school pitch”.

Stand-in skipper on the day Jamie Heywood admitted the club have been struggling with ground maintenance since losing their main groundsman but insisted he had played on worse in the past.

He said: “It doesn’t look good I have to say, and I feel for some of our lads and Chorley for the time they put in to travelling up on their day off.

“But I have to say I have played on worse pitches in my time.

“We netted on the pitch afterwards and none of the balls I faced misbehaved, even in the problem spots highlighted with (fast bowler) Iain Perrieman coming in off a full run.

“But it has been an uphill struggle to produce pitches in the last few years with a lack of equipment, lads working full-time in the week and little knowledge about looking after what is a large cricket ground.

“We’re a club, like most, highly reliant on voluntary help, and when there aren’t the people available to bear the load things like this do happen unfortunately.

“It isn’t particularly helpful to label a club ‘embarrassing’ when I know we care about it so deeply and put our life and soul into it.”

Lancaster also failed to fulfil the reverse second XI fixture on the day, with Heywood admitting that the club needed to reach out more to bring in new players.

He said: “Again in it’s not good.

“We lack senior players to help bring through the youngsters which are and always will be the lifeblood of the club.

“The solutions are we have to engage with the local community, the university and the people of Lancaster and show how important getting involved with your club is, because it is, after all, representative of the city.”

Having also tasted defeat at Netherfield on Saturday, it was a difficult weekend for the Lune Road side who will hope to kickstart their season away at Fleetwood on Saturday before their Lancashire Cup bow away at Little Lever on Sunday.

Heywood said: “We are tight knit group of lads and a proven side, so it is a case of getting past this bad patch and trying to get everything back on the right track for this year.

“We have a Lancashire Cup fixture on Sunday so we need to get our focus back on the field and going far in that.”

Coach travel is available for the Little Lever game. Contact the club on 01524 65087.