Oval surface left patchy

The surface near the wicket area at Turf One last weekend.

The surface near the wicket area at Turf One last weekend.

PLAYERS who took to City Oval for round 12 of Sunraysia Cricket Association over the weekend needed to watch their footing with large patches of exposed dirt alongside the Turf One pitch area.

It was hard not to notice the once well grassed areas during the Second Division match between host Mildura East and Nichols Point for the first day’s play.

A Mildura Council spokesman said bare patches around the grounds reflected topdressing and over-sowing treatment carried out at the oval last week, and effects on the surface of extreme weather.

“The recent run of hot conditions has affected the health of the rye grass which was used to over-sow the surface during last year’s redevelopment,” the spokesman said.

“Whilst the new surface is 12 months old, it is still maturing and MRCC will continue to adjust its maintenance program accordingly to respond to the respective environmental conditions.”

The spokesman said the council had been in contact with groups who used the oval and relayed their treatment plan for the oval.

“MRCC is working with a contractor to address the issue so that the surface will be ready for the start of the 2018 SFNL season,” he said.

The SCA board will meet on Monday night to discuss grand final venues and club presidents will also meet the board to discuss any concerns they have.

SCA administration manager Jakob Sluiter conceded the current condition of City Oval would hurt its chances of hosting a decider.

“It wouldn’t be getting a great rating due to the current condition, which would be detrimental to its chances,” he said. Umpires assigned to games complete a report, which takes into account pitch conditions, and these are handed to the SCA at the completion of each round.

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