It should have been a case for the Special Branch, but solving the latest tree problem at Romsey Town’s Bypass Ground was no laughing matter.

The Sydenhams Wessex One club face a bill of around £350-£400 to repair the damage caused when a giant poplar was uprooted in gale force winds last week, crashing through the barrier next to the goal and damaging part of the pitch in the process. It took two tree surgeons the whole of last Saturday to chop the tree up and move it bit by bit.

The next job was to call out the groundsman to tend to the damaged turf. The first club secretary Clare Crossland knew of the fallen tree was when she got a call from the chairman’s wife last Thursday.

“I asked her if she thought we could move it and she said ‘let’s put it this way, you and I couldn’t do it,” said Crossland. “I then had the bright idea of asking if the players could be diverted to the ground on their way back from training on a 3G pitch to see if they could help.

“There were 15 of them and I thought we might be able to move it with pure manpower, but when I put the lights on there was raucous laughter going on. The tree was absolutely massive!”

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