Did mother nature solve pitch problems?

While experts scratch their heads over the unique flooding problems at Blaimount’s 3G pitch, one man reckons Mother Nature has just provided the answer.

Newton Stewart FC chairman Andy McClymont told the Gallway Gazette that since a hard frost and thaw, the pitch has been “perfect”.

He said: “All over Christmas and New Year the pitch was just like an ice rink. Then last Thursday afternoon it started to thaw. The thaw was followed by heavy rain and when I went up to check the pitch, expecting to find a flood, it was perfect and it’s been hunky-dory ever since. It seems to have decompacted the surface and the water is draining away again.”

On Tuesday an expert from Nottingham, on behalf of Lab Sport, arrived to take samples for testing. He was accompanied by a represenative from Souters, the artifical pitch contractors and Mr McClymont.

Since the flooding problems started in November investigations undertaken by the council found that there was no issue with blocked drains and the application of a ‘wetting agent’ to break up the surface had no effect. The designers and contractors were consulted but had “never seen this issue before”.

Football club officals then pointed the finger at a new machine purchased by the council to treat the pitch surface, saying it was “too heavy” so a lighter machine was brought down in to replace it. But council officer Karen Brownlie told Cree Valley Community Council members that the change of equipment “hadn’t made any difference to the surface”.

At Monday night’s meeting, Ms Brownlie admitted the flooding had baffled everyone but she added that she was “confident” that the council would get to the bottom of the problem and get the £500,000 facility available to community groups.

She confirmed that if the surface of any of the underlying layers were found to be faulty the “contractor of manufacturer will be responsible for the cost” but added “something could have been done to it that we are not aware of”.