The past 12 months have been eventful in many ways not least the extreme winter

weather conditions we experienced in December/January; nature may have done us afavour as many sports grounds received some much needed frost heave or natural aeration, as it is sometimes known


It is perhaps testament to the condition of our cricket grounds in Cheshire that a full recovery was made and that through much hard work by our unsung heroes, our

groundsmen, a prompt start was made to the season and blessed with some unseasonal dry weather we had mid term pitches in early season


I would now like to review the progress made by the CAG over the past 12 months.


With the help of Mike Woollard at the CCB & Dan Musson at the ECB we were able to obtain funding for a new Groundsman aerator to carry out winter spiking on our squares. The grant was for 75% of the cost and the balance was provided equally by the CAG & the 4C's. This is now located at Tattenhall CC under the control of our secretary Brian Jarrard, together with the Sisis Autoseeder/scarifier.


We have negotiated a 25% discount on Baranbrug seeds supplied by Bancroft Amenities

who are their local distributor.


We have negotiated a package with Rigby Taylor of up to 30% discount on their seed &

feed products, but each purchase is arranged through the rep & it is up to each club to negotiate the best deal .


A great deal of hard work went into trying to arrange discounted bulk purchases of loam

direct from producers or via their distributors; ultimately some success was achieved witha 10% discount from Battersbys of Heywood but it appears that the real savings are madewhen purchased loose in 1 tonne sealed bags. From our research we have concluded that this product is pretty much a cartel/closed shop and with cost of production being so high it would be difficult to get the price down unless some sort of national agreement could be reached for clubs who are members of their CGA's


We have run the IOG courses again this year with Part A in April & Part B in September at Toft CC. In November the Int/Adv was held at Hale Barns CC. All of these were well supported albeit helped by IOG members outside of the CAG. We grateful to the host clubs who have allowed us to use their facilities.


In February we held an open meeting where Len Smith & Martin Ford presented the final conclusions of the Rolling of cricket pitch research; in short....roll less & at the right time!!


In September an open meeting was held where Simon Parsons from Cranfield Univ very

kindly came all the way from Milton Keynes to give us the latest position on their research into aeration of cricket pitches. Although still somewhat inconclusive it nevertheless gaveus some pointers and useful hints.


The pitch/outfield marking system for 1st teams in the county league continues to attract much discussion. We know it is not a perfect system and I am reliably informed that it will once again be tweaked over the winter. However it does provide some insight from a third party as to how the ground performs over the season. Some groundsmen may prefer to take the marking tables with a pinch of salt and rely upon their own teams to get feedback as to how the pitches are playing; having said that players will tend to blame the pitches for their own inadequacies rather than look at the overall picture, or even their technique!!


The collection of annual subs has exercised our minds over the past year as this is the one area of administration which is proving to be time consuming and somewhat inaccurateThe County league collect the subs in their annual levy and send us a cheque once a year; we also believe that from this coming year both the MB & CCA will operate a similar system but this only covers one person per club. All others will still need to pay their own subs directly to the CAG preferably by S/O. By adopting this system the admin for us & the CCB is greatly eased but we still need to keep an updated database of all member clubs/personnel & their contact details. This is vital as we need to be able to communicate via e-mail with everyone.


Finally I would like to thank all the committee members for their hard work and also the CCB & 4C's for their support both financially & administratively.