Tree Causes Pitch Damage: It should have been a case for the Special Branch, but solving the most recent tree problem at Romsey Town’s Bypass Ground was far from a laughing matter.
The Sydenhams Wessex One club face a bill of around £350-£400 to repair the damage caused when a giant poplar was uprooted in gale force winds last week, crashing through the barrier next to the goal and damaging part of the pitch in the process.
It took two tree surgeons the whole of last Saturday to chop the tree up and move it bit by bit.
The next job was to call out the groundsman to tend to the damaged turf.
The first club secretary Clare Crossland knew of the fallen tree was when she got a call from the chairman’s wife last Thursday.
“I asked her if she thought we could move it and she said ‘let’s put it this way, you and I couldn’t do it,” said Crossland.
“I then had the bright idea of asking if the players could be diverted to the ground on their way back from training on a 3G pitch to see if they could help.
“There were 15 of them and I thought we might be able to move it with pure manpower, but when I put the lights on there was raucous laughter going on. The tree was absolutely massive!
“There was no way even 15 of them could have shifted it.
“Even the tree surgeons said it would have to be cut into very small chunks to enable them to move it.
“I’ve not had the bill from the groundsman yet, but I’d estimate that altogether it will end up costing us in the region of £350-£400. It’s also severed the pitch-side barrier and bent it.”
It’s not the first time a tree has caused havoc at Romsey.
Two years ago a root was discovered growing under the pitch, forcing a first-team fixture to be postponed.
Last weekend Romsey had been due to play away, although their match at Fawley AFC was rained off.
On Saturday Andy Samuels’ men travel to Totton & Eling, while the shadow squad will host Brockenhurst in the Wyvern Combination League.
Romsey, who have not played since December 23, are fifth in the Wessex table, nine points adrift of leaders Andover New Street with two games in hand.
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