‘Mindless vandals’ cause £1,000 damage to village cricket club

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 July 2017

Vandals have damaged one of the covers at Uphill Castle Cricket Club.

Vandals have damaged one of the covers at Uphill Castle Cricket Club.

Archant

A village cricket club suffered a vandalism attack, as its pitch covers were badly damaged by ‘mindless vandals’.

Seb Winn batting for Uphill.Seb Winn batting for Uphill.

One of Uphill Castle Cricket Club’s pitch covers sustained damage from an overnight vandalism attack at the weekend – and will need to be replaced by taking a ‘massive chunk’ from the club’s budget.

Teenage boys were spotted jumping up and down on the covers like a ‘trampoline’, and the club has told of year-long issues it has had with vandals.

The cricket club, which shares its facilities with Uphill Castle Football Club, has been forced to knock down two football dugouts to deter the youngsters from using them as ‘hideouts’.

Club spokesman Ade Gardener said: “These are mindless vandals who are achieving nothing – they just set out to wreck stuff.

“Our groundsman saw them at around 5am and was threatened and goaded by them while they were jumping up and down on the covers. They use them as a trampoline.

“Every weekend they come into the ground from the public footpath in the early hours of the morning. They have vandalised the football dugouts for more than a year and drug paraphernalia has been found in the past.”

Mr Gardener said the cricket club will need to buy a new cover at the cost of £1,000.

He added: “£1,000 is a massive chunk out of our budget, and the football club is also struggling now too.

“Money has had to be taken from the youth cricket budget to pay for security things like CCTV. The vandals are taking away funds we could be spending on upgrading our facilities.”

In the wake of the incident, the cricket club and the football club have announced they will host a six-a-side cricket tournament, in conjunction with Hornets Rugby Club, on August 13 to raise funds for a new cover.

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