UK’s worst cricket pitch found in Normanby!

Lincolnshire based Normanby Park Cricket Club has been crowned the winner of a pitch makeover competition called Pitch to Win and will receive £3,000 to renovate its pitch.Caption: Normanby Park Cricket Club, with IOG Pitch Advisor, Tom Rowley (far left) and team coach, Paul Cowling (far right)

Lincolnshire based Normanby Park Cricket Club has been crowned the winner of a pitch makeover competition called Pitch to Win and will receive £3,000 to renovate its pitch.

In November 2014 Briggs & Stratton and the Institute of Groundsmanship (the IOG) launched Pitch to Win and set off on a mission to find the amateur sports teams whose pitches were most in need of help.

The competition, ran by leading global petrol engine manufacturer for lawnmowers and outdoor power equipment, Briggs & Stratton, closed at the end of March, with the shortlisted teams being announced in June. After a lot of deliberation, and a pitch visit by grounds experts, the IOG, who carried out an inspection, the winners have now been decided, with Normanby Park winning the rugby league category.

Over the past three years the outfield at Normanby Park has been systematically destroyed by crows and badgers on the hunt for chafer bugs, which resulted in volunteers spending hours putting back turf, filling holes, reseeding, making scarecrows, and doing anything else they could to try and make the pitch fit for use. Unfortunately their valiant efforts were not rewarded, and the ground remains a constant concern. This led team coach, Paul Cowling, to enter the Pitch to Win competition.

Ian Small, sales and marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton UK, commented:

Normanby Park’s application demonstrated exactly what this competition is all about – a club who show real community spirit and are willing to go the extra mile. It is great to be able to help a team like Normanby and I can’t wait to see what the pitch looks when the work is complete.

The team were shortlisted to the final three and then a representative from the IOG visited to carry out a pitch inspection. The team will now receive a new kit sponsored by Briggs & Stratton and a tailor-made maintenance plan from the IOG to assist them with the £3,000 makeover.

On the team’s victory, coach Paul Cowling said:

Normanby Park CC are delighted to have won this competition and that hope with the help of the IOG we can once and for all put these issues behind us. Volunteers at community run clubs have enough to do without hours and hours of ground repairs just to get a game of cricket played.

The competition also has winners from rugby league and cricket, all receiving a £3,000 makeover. Later in the year the three winners will battle it out to receive a further £1,000 winter maintenance top-up as well as being crowned the overall winner of Pitch to Win.

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