Work is underway to try and restore Lurgan Town’s pitch which has been badly scorched by the hot weather.
Around 100,000 litres of water has been sprayed on The Arena pitch this week in a desperate bid to help the grass recover in time for the new season.
Every night this week a tanker has been soaking the turf with 20,000 litres of water, with the pitch to remain closed and a further assessment taken place in the middle of August.
Scott Gordon of Lurgan Town Football Club told the Mail the pitch was in that bad a state, there were concerns it was beyond repair.
He said: “A combination of the intense heat and no water at all on it we were fearful that we were going to lose it.
“We got the tanker down which had 20,000 litres on, every night this week there is 20,000 going on to it and hopefully that will save it.
It is the first year we have ever had to do this, we have never experienced anything as bad as this.
“At the end of every season we close the pitch down at May time, it gets maintenance work and then you’re relying on the rain. We don’t really have water about the pitch, so the hose pipe ban hasn’t really made much difference, it is the lack of rain which has been the problem. We have to rely on the rain to finish the work that the guys have done.”
The first three fixtures for Lurgan Town in the Mid-Ulster League have all been arranged to be away from home to give the pitch a chance to recover.
Scott added: “The season is due to start on August 4, Mid Ulster League have given us three league games away. So that brings us up to the 18th of August and hopefully it will be in a better condition then.
“Hopefully the good bit of rain this week will also help, I was down on Thursday and there is already an improvement. It has gone from brown to green in the matter of a week. So just need the seeds to take to fill in the gaps, especially around the goal mouth areas and the centre circle.
“Hopefully it will be ready come the fourth fixture of the season, luckily the kids don’t start the season until September. We share the pitch out and hopefully the younger teams will be good to go come September.”