Sport­ing sea­sons washout

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Alexis Gill­ham alexis. gill­ham@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

TOWNSVILLE ju­nior and se­nior sports teams are fac­ing a sched­ul­ing night­mare as con­tin­ued wet weather wreaks havoc on sea­son draws.

Lo­cally based AFL Queens­land de­vel­op­ment man­ager Peter Young said Townsville Aussie rules teams had not been able to get on the Murr a y S p o r t i n g F i e l d s f o r weeks.

‘‘ We were sup­posed to start the sea­son this week­end but the fields are full of wa­ter and coun­cil can’t get the mow­ers on,’’ he said.

‘‘ We ex­pect the sea­son will be de­layed for an­other three weeks.

‘‘ We haven’t set a date be­cause even to­day it’s cloudy and when it rains it causes all sorts of prob­lems.’’

Mr Young said ju­nior and se­nior teams had been af­fected.

‘‘ A lot aren’t train­ing or they are hav­ing to train on dif­fer­ent fields,’’ he said.

He said he was un­sure if the league would ex­tend the sea­son to make up for the lost weeks or just cut it short.

Oztag venue co-or­di­na­tor Sharon Allen said they had started their sea­son on Jan­uary 27 but had been play­ing on and off since Cy­clone Yasi. The Oztag competition is held at Aitken­vale PCYC on Welling­ton St.

‘‘ We have been un­der way since Jan­uary 27 but have only played four weeks in to­tal,’’ she said.

‘‘ A cou­ple of the weeks were just too wet so we are not in full swing yet.

‘‘ The coun­cil can’t mow the fields be­cause the ground is too wet and there is grass up to play­ers’ mid-shins ... it’s a catch-22 be­cause with such long grass the grounds don’t have the chance to dry out.’’

She said they were go­ing to ex­tend the sea­son to make up for lost games with many play­ers al­ready pay­ing in full for the sea­son.

‘‘ Ev­ery other venue have tried to play on re­fused to let us on,’’ said.

‘‘ We usu­ally play on a Thurs­day night but we will maybe add Fri­day night and Sun­day games.’’

Townsville Hockey coach­ing di­rec­tor Mar­garet Dil­ger s a i d h o c k e y t e a ms h a d avoided de­lays by mov­ing off the grass play­ing sur­face to t hei r t wo a r t i f i c i a l t ur f fields.

‘‘ The grass fields are not p l a y a b l e b u t w e h a v e short­ened the games on the two ar­ti­fi­cial sur­faces,’’ she said. Soc­cer and net­ball had also been ham­pered by the wet sur­faces, she said. we has she

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