16 AUG 2017
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’Brook bowlers call for Council action over ‘unplayable’ green

9 August 2017

Bessbrook Bowling Green is in such disrepair that visiting teams have threatened not to return and local members are leaving the club, it has been claimed.

The green in the centre of the Model Village has long been lauded as having one of the most scenic surroundings in the NI Bowling Association League.

However, ongoing issues with the surface has caused anger and frustration within the Club.

A spokesperson said members are unhappy with the unevenness, bumpiness and browning of the surface, and feel the Council - which is responsible for its upkeep - has failed to maintain it to the required standard.

“This year is particularly bad,” the spokesperson told the Reporter. “It’s meant to be scarified twice a month, but it has only been done once in three months and it is the Council’s responsibility to do that.

“The green is simply not kept properly. If you go to Annalong, or Kilkeel, or Newcastle, which are all in our district, they are perfect, yet here it is in a terrible state. ­We just want to see the green properly maintained so that members and visitors to the club can play on it and be proud of it, because at the moment, visiting teams are saying they won’t be returning and we even have some of our own members walking away due to the state of the surface. It’s unplayable.”


Tournament cancelled


The club was informed on Friday morning that the green could not be used for 48 hours as it had been fertilized – meaning a tournament the following day had to be cancelled at short notice. 

The spokesperson also claimed that promised drainage work to be carried out in July was not fulfilled.

The Reporter viewed documents in which a Council official accepted that the surface was not up to standard that the Council aimed for, but disagreed in the correspondence that there is a lack of proper maintenance to the green.

The spokesperson said there have also been complaints about cracked kerbs and broken seats within the grounds. He said despite Council assurances, members believe that minority sports are not fully supported by the Council compared to other sports.

He added: “We go elsewhere, and the greens are absolutely fantastic. Now there’s a chance that we may be relegated from Division Two because the surface is so bad that it is detrimental to our team. “We just want to see the surface rectified and maintained on a regular basis and that bigger, more popular sports are not given priority in terms of how surfaces are kept and maintained.” 

The Reporter asked the Council for a response to issues raised by Bessbrook Bowling Club, but had not received a response at time of going to print.

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