Cheshire’s first match abandoned
By Derrick Hastings (Hon. Secretary, Cheshire C.C.C.)


Cheshire’s group Knock-Out Trophy match against Northumberland scheduled for the 22nd April was cancelled before the match could start.

The Cheshire Secretary received a telephone call at about 4:00 pm on the day before the match from his opposite number at Northumberland to inform him that the South Northumberland ground was under water. As Derrick Hastings had travelled to Gosforth early and was only about 30 minutes from the ground he arranged to meet Alan Stephenson there to see how things stood.

On reaching the ground, it was obvious that no play would be possible. Walking across the outfield would have been safer in wellington boots (as worn by the Groundsman) or, at least, with trousers rolled up. There was about an inch of water covering the ground – and that was at the shallow end. Despite the square and run-ups being more than adequately covered, water had seeped under the covers and the strip itself was wet as well.

There had been torrential rain on the Thursday which had left the ground waterlogged and a League match had started on the ground that morning with the run-ups covered in sawdust. At around noon another downpour of rain and hail had inflicted the final damage.

After consultation with Pip August, the MCCA Competitions Secretary, and both umpires, it was decided to cancel the game as the ground would be totally unfit for play for several days.

Fortunately, the decision was taken early enough that the Hon. Team Secretary, Peter Babbage, had time to contact all the players to save them a wasted journey.