Press Release Wray Crescent
Sun 19-Oct-2008 
 

One consequence of climate change & the impact on the changing seasons means Islington's only adult cricket club played their final fixture of the year yesterday, the 18th October 2008 against a Presidents XI.

The UK first class season finished on the 27th September, the club league season on the 6th September & Pacific's last league match was way back on the 6th August. But since then the Pacific fixture card has been filled with one-off challenge matches . Since August began the weather had the last say in which 3 games had to be cancelled. Before August it was 4.

The Club Secretary Peter Hollman said "It's true, every year we have been extending the season as September & October are as dry & warm as the traditional season between May & August & we never have a problem raising teams or finding like minded oppositions." In the main we are lucky that Islington hosts a unique facility in the form of the specialist cricket ground at Wray Crescent. "It is the only public access cricket facility in Islington but because it is an artificial pitch & the outfield is not a recognized football pitch the club can continue its' season as long the weather holds. "Many other clubs are jealous when the weather is so clement & they've packed all their kit away & they find out we're still playing".

Equally at the larger mainstream cricket clubs , the groundsman needs to get to work on his table as soon as he can & running the season on too long hampers preparations for the following season. "This provides us with a chance to play for as long as the weather holds. It's easier to have games arranged & cancel if there's washout than to sit indoors on a warm dry day wishing you could still play cricket."

But playing on artificial pitches is not everyone's cup of of tea. "We had a cup semi final scheduled against Harrow Town last month but once they found out it was an artificial pitch they refused to turn up which may have left us with a place in the final but an unpaid pitch bill & 11 players kicking their heals that day which was less welcome"

Making sure that the facilities are kept in adequate condition is another problem. "Glendale, Islington grounds maintenance contractors have failed to cut the grass since August until shortly before this final game & it's taken daily emails & phone calls to the Environment office to get the grass cut. "It's been an unbelievable effort for something so simple - I did not even get the courtesy of a reply or apology from Glendale" Although they did sort it in the end - just. The pitch was being marked out shortly before the start which added to a delayed start.

The contractors lost the contract to Enterprise who take control from 1st January 2009. "I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do for the place & along with the co-users islington Cricket Club's various colts XIs, it should the primary cricket ground in the area & one of Islington's prouder sports facilities.

"This time next year we'll be looking ahead to 2 more games even later in the month - in Alicante - but I'm not holding my breath they had the wettest October for 140 years when we were there in 2006"

In the game itself, Pacific beat the Presidents XI by 9 runs scoring defending a total of 223-7 from their 40 overs. Outgoing Club Captain Jon Webley top scored with 66 & passing 1000 runs for the season.