Club ‘sickened’ after cricket pitch destroyed by vandal driver

Gregson Lane cricket pitch was destroyed after a car drove over the field.

Gregson Lane cricket pitch was destroyed after a car drove over the field.

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A South Ribble cricket club has been left “sickened” after its pitch has been torn apart by car tyres.

Gregson Lane Cricket Club’s groundsman woke up to find the field destroyed after a “thoughtless” driver sped across the pitch.

The significant damage puts the club’s next two fixtures in doubt and groundsman Phil Woods says it will take countless hours to get it back in playing condition.

“The damage is really bad, these people haven’t left much of the pitch untouched,” he said. “I really don’t think this weekend’s game can go ahead and it’s going to take a lot of time to make it playable even for the week afterwards.

“It’s just thoughtless and it’s going to be very hard to repair because of the amount of ground they’ve covered.”

The club, which has three senior and four junior sides playing in the Palace Shield has reported the incident to the police - but so far there has been no leads in their investigation, a police spokesman said.

However, officers were called to reports of a 4x4 car or truck driving round Gregson Lane playing field, near the village’s cricket ground, with no lights on. The caller expressed huge concern due to the area being a popular dog walking destination.

The call came in at 11.55pm last night but when officers arrived on the scene shortly afterwards, they could find no sign of the vehicle.

“We usually have quite a bad reputation for our pitch but a lot of time and effort had gone in and it was starting to look really good,” Phil said.

“Now we’re back to square one and although we’ve got a deal to get some fast growing seed in, it’s still going to be a while before it’s back to normal.”