Football officials were left high and dry last weekend after an ‘all weather’ £500,000 3G pitch became so waterlogged it was unplayable.
Ironically, the new surface at Blairmount Park in Newton Stewart was installed after local clubs lobbied Dumfries and Galloway Council for years to get an all-weather surface in place.
The 3G pitch was installed last summer to end the frustration of clubs frequently having to cancel ties on the old grass pitch which was often more mud than grass during the winter.
Newton Stewart FC were due to play Edusport Academy from Hamilton at 3pm last Saturday in the South of Scotland League but, for the second time in two weeks, a game was called off because the pitch was completely waterlogged.
Newton Stewart FC spokesman Andy McClymont told The Galloway Gazette: “It’s embarrassing and we are losing money over it. But with all the rain that fell on Friday night the pitch had reached saturation point. At kick-off time it was unplayable but when I looked up on Sunday morning and it was fine again.
“Originally I though the soakaway system wasn’t working but it is.
“What I think is happening is the two inch layer of rubber chipping that is one of the layers under the pitch is needing to be agitated.
“It sits below the surface under a four inch layer of silver sand and that is all on top of a shock pad to give the pitch ‘bounce’ then below that is penetrable tarmacadam and at the bottom lies a foot and a half of hardcore.
“As the rubber chips layer is two inches deep, if there is two inches of rain it can cope but if there is four inches of rain, the water is coming up to the level of the synthetic grass.
“But we must remember that is a community facility, it doesn’t belong to Newton Stewart Football Club. We are just responsible for taking bookings for it.”
A spokesman for the owners of the pitch, Dumfries and Galloway Council, said: “Council Officers are aware of the recent flooding issue at Blairmount Synthetic Grass Pitch and are working closely with Newton Stewart Football Club and the contractors to determine the root cause.”