Stones make plans for a delayed home start

Stones Cricket Club outfield suffering from lack of grass after long dry spell recently.

Stones Cricket Club outfield suffering from lack of grass after long dry spell recently.

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STONES CC’s ground could be out of action for the first month of the season after extensive work on the outfield.

The Towergate Halifax League club, which runs three senior teams and several junior sides, has effectively turned over the whole of the pitch, apart from the square.

The aim is to flatten the ground to level historic uneven patches and iron out previous drainage work which had left undulations.

However, the early onset of winter in late November thwarted efforts to get the grass growing again, meaning the project is behind schedule.

The Ripponden club, with the full knowledge of the league, have managed to arrange to play all their matches until June away from home.

They were not given any home fixtures in the Halifax Junior League and Sunday Section in the early stages of the season.

The fixtures for the main league were drawn up earlier but they have arranged with Greetland, Queensbury, Denholme Clough and Old Town to play on their grounds when those clubs have home byes.

Stones hope they may not need to implement the contingency plans, which extend to the first six games, in full but club treasurer and league president David Normanton said they were extremely grateful to the clubs who had offered to help them out by hosting fixtures.

“We’d like to thank the four clubs very much for their co-operation,” he said.

Stones doubled the size of their pavilion in a £65,000 project completed in 2009 and the levelling of the pitch is regarded as the next step forward.