‘No Christmas spirit’ as vandal driver ruins cricket pitch

A vandal driver damaged Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club's pitch.
A vandal driver damaged Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club's pitch.
Share this article
0
Have your say

A Lancashire cricket club has been asking “where is the Christmas spirit?” after a vandal driver ruined its playing surface.

The groundsman for Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club woke up on Tuesday to find tyres tracks strewn across the pitch.

And just days after Christmas, work will now need to start to repair the ground ahead of the new season.

Club chairman Neil Harvey said: “This isn’t the first time it has happened. Someone drove across the pitch last year and we’ve just recovered from the work we had to do because of the flooding.

“We spent lots of money and time doing the drainage work but this has gone right over the top of it and now requires lots of work to fix it.”

The Higher Walton Road club, which plays in the Palace Shield, spent thousands on new drainage after flooding in December 2015 and rely on volunteers to do the repairs.

A vandal driver damaged Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club's pitch.

A vandal driver damaged Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club's pitch.

Neil said: “The damage is worse than we first thought because they’ve done donuts on the outfield. It’s a very sad state of affairs and it’s someone with a stupid attitude who thinks this kind of thing is a laugh.

“The cost to us won’t be the bad thing, it’s more the time it will take to put it right. Lots of people have already spent a considerable amount of hours fixing the pitch and now have to do it again.”

The field is owned by The Walton-le-Dale Recreation Society but ongoing building work has prevented plans to build any bollards to stop cars driving onto the field.

“But at least it has happened now” Neil said. “We have until April before our next game so there’s still time to sort it but the worry is it keeps happening.

A vandal driver damaged Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club's pitch.

A vandal driver damaged Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club's pitch.

“We won’t find out who it is but hopefully it’s sorted quickly.”

And the club has had plenty of support since sharing the news online, including Lancashire Cricket Club who offered to give them a signed bat or shirt in the New Year.

A vandal driver damaged Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club's pitch.

A vandal driver damaged Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club's pitch.

A vandal driver damaged Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club's pitch.

A vandal driver damaged Walton-le-Dale Cricket Club's pitch.