THUNDERSTORMS early on Saturday morning proved to be the undoing of Northern District cricket at the majority of venues, leaving matches called off at various points prior to the scheduled start times.
The Northern District Lawn Tennis Association’s round was free to go ahead wherever home clubs deemed the court surfaces to be suitable.
The Northern District lawn bowlers appeared to have no such issues with a rain-related decision, playing on time with well-drained greens.
Bowls president Maisie Murphy said that all ND matches went ahead as far as she was aware. The secret to the bowlers’ success in regard to the weather was indeed the way that greens generally drained well, she added.
“Bowls would be the last sport to be put off because of rain,” said Murphy.
“I can only speak of the Kerang (greens, but) we’ve had a thunderstorm which has really drenched it, water lying everywhere, and within probably an hour you can play on it. It’s wonderful, really. I think a lot are like that – it’s got to be, really. You can’t let water lie on them, because you’d get diseased grass then.”
Murphy added that bowlers would seem to be a particularly hardy lot, as they happily play through rain as well, unless it’s absolutely pouring down.
“It comes back to a club as to whether their greens are open or not,” she said.
“Of course, it’s hard to say how much rain you get in one place than another.”
Most of the cricket was cancelled, including both the A grade Cohuna derby between United and Nondies, plus the Barham/Koondrook-Wandella game. Similar fates befell the B grade fixtures at Cohuna, Leitchville and Koondrook Oval, where three magpies sat on the pavilion steps to oversee nothing much in particular. Only the B grade Wandella-Kerang encounter at Riverside Park went ahead, along with an under 14 match earlier in the day.
“I can’t believe (many) would’ve played – it was pretty wet!,” said ND cricket association secretary John Arthur.
“Some of the games were still being called off at 11 o’clock.”
However, Arthur echoed Murphy’s sentiment about the fact that a diverse set of venues might also mean an equally diverse set of conditions on the day that determine whether play goes ahead or not.
“You can’t call them off too early, because the association (boundary) goes right from Gunbower to Kerang, through to Barham,” he said.
“It’s still up to individual clubs to make their call. Just because it’s raining in one area, you might not get rain in another…But in saying that, there was a lot of rain!”
Cricket matches can of course be started later than originally scheduled if enough time remains for an agreed minimum amount of overs to be completed, but when the rain is at such a significant level as on Saturday morning, it probably wouldn’t matter when the game was supposed to get under way.
And it’s not just wet outfields that can be the cause of concern – and possible cancellation – for cricketers. Turf pitches can become very muddy very quickly.
Rain is the natural enemy of cricket, a source of frustration for players and administrators alike, according to Arthur.
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