A CRICKET club is literally in “deep water” after being faced with a soggy start to the season.

Ellesmere Cricket Club’s first and second string suffered a difficult beginning to their 2016 campaign after they were forced to concede games because their Birch Road Arena was too wet to play on.

Groundsman James Harrison explained that although the ground was historically wet, this year had been worse following issues with an open watercourse which runs beneath the playing area.

He said: “There is an open watercourse which runs under the ground from the marina, and there seems to be something which is blocking it – or a pipe has broken and that has caused a lot of flooding that won’t go away.

“We have been trying to get funding to sort the drainage issues, but until the ground dries out we can’t rectify anything, so it really is a Catch-22.

“The whole ground has been drying out but every time we get it ready for the work the heavens open. Hopefully it will stay dry now and we can get things sorted quickly, but it has been a struggle.”

It’s not just the senior sides which have been affected – a number of midweek games have been cancelled and the junior training was delayed by around four weeks.

The first game of the season eventually took place last weekend when Ellesmere Firsts beat local rivals Cae Glas Firsts, but the conceded games means they are on the back foot.

Chairman of the club Rob Duncan said he was confident the sides were up to the challenge. He said: “We can’t make up the points, but we are not the only teams that have had games called off.

“We played last week, but then three or four teams didn’t play, so it’s all swings and roundabouts, but we are working on it.”

n The ground was in use again at the weekend when Ellesmere Seconds lost by eight wickets to Willey Seconds in their Shropshire County Cricket League Reserve Division Two clash. Ellesmere were bowled out for 111.