Yesterday, members from the Leeming Spartan Cricket Club Committee attended the Melville City Council’s Ground Allocation meeting which (if you’ll pardon the pun) shed some new light on the developments going on at our home ground on John Connell Reserve.
There will be new lights installed over the oval after one of the towers collapsed during the first round of the 2016/17 season following significant storms. Thankfully no one was injured, but it was quite a sight for Spartans enjoying a few quiet ones on the clubroom steps.
We had been watching it sway back and forth for almost half an hour (see below) before the one near the nets finally collapsed, in scenes somewhat reminiscent of our First Grade grand final last March! 😜
It was then deemed that due to their age (some thirty odd years by this point), all lights over John Connell Reserve would be removed and be replaced with upgraded lighting across the ground.
During yesterday’s meeting at the Melville Civic Centre in Booragoon, it was confirmed that the lights’ installation process will likely be taking place during our home and away season, from November until sometime in 2018.
It however, remains unclear whether work will be undertaken during match days, with trucks and service vehicles needing access to the ground around where the light poles will be installed.
If this is the case, we have confirmed that work will not intrude on the playing surface of the oval, however, please be aware that as this is a worksite and that this will be an ongoing process, then some concessions may have to be made.
Additionally, there was also some discussion made on the prospect of a night game if the new lights were capable of hosting such an event.
Unfortunately, this will not be the case as the 78 lux provided by the lights will not be enough to host a day/night game. The requirement as outlined by Cricket Australia is actually 225 lux.
This is in regard to the amount of lighting per square metre that is available without the aid of natural sunlight, and as such John Connell Reserve cannot host any night cricket matches. In fact, there is no reserve within the Melville district that is capable of hosting night cricket, due to the enormous costs involved.
The highest capacity lighting currently in the Melville Council is actually at the Melville City Hockey Club which has lighting of 166 lux, however as a hockey field is obviously smaller than a cricket oval, the correct light density for small ‘ball’ sports is achieved with a lower level of lighting. The vast space of a cricket oval means greater lighting intensity is required to sufficiently illuminate the surface for night cricket.
However, all is not lost as the ground will be capable of hosting twilight matches during the peak summer period, when the sun sets at its latest. These games too will feature either a white or pink ball, and (in the case of a forty-over game) will require one innings or greater to be completed before the night sessions commence.
The Leeming Spartan Cricket Club will now receive regular updates from the council regarding the progress of the John Connell Reserve lights installation. It is also worth noting that the Peter Ellis Reserve on Findlay Road in Leeming (behind the shopping centre), one of our additional home grounds will also receive a light installation for the first time, expected to be completed before the lights on John Connell Reserve.
Unfortunately, we are no closer to confirming a final date for the completion of the works, but we will endeavour to keep you informed regarding this project.
Spartans placing cones around the light pole just before it fell. Incredibly, despite the torrential weather, some were still around walking their dogs!
The morning after. Many a similar scene has been witnessed in the form of our Spartan members!