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‘Doughnut’ drivers damage Swaffham cricket pitch

SWAFFHAM DAMAGED PITCH                  
 
Swaffham CC groundsman, Andy Dale (left) and club chairman, Tony Exley, examine the pitch damaged by joy riders in cars ANL-140313-082252001

SWAFFHAM DAMAGED PITCH Swaffham CC groundsman, Andy Dale (left) and club chairman, Tony Exley, examine the pitch damaged by joy riders in cars ANL-140313-082252001

A successful town sports club has been dealt a major blow after yobs in cars have churned up their pitches weeks before the cricket season starts.

Swaffham Cricket Club is hoping to create a family area at its site in Shoemakers Lane, but fears that project may have be delayed thanks to anti-social drivers “doing doughnuts” over the pitches.

The club has endured a series of vandalism attacks at the site over the last few years.

And its chairman, Tony Exley, said teams may not be able to use the pitches during the early part of the new season, which starts next month.

He said: “The cricket square is going to need a lot of money spending on it. It is going to need certain soils to bring it up to where we need it to be.

“This is not the first time vandals have been down there. We had put up a £30,000 new cricket net and within a week someone had taken a knife to it and cut it up.

“Some years ago we found kids spearing a tarpaulin we had bought.

“Police are aware of the issues. I think it is very difficult as there is no CCTV cover down there and we suffer from that.”

During the latest incident, which happened overnight on March 1, yobs drove on the cricket square and the neighbouring football field.

The cricket club is proving to be popular, running four adult teams along with five youth squads.

Mr Exley said the club was hoping to spend £4,000 to £5,000 on creating a family area with a soft play area and timber frame to protect families from stray cricket balls.

He said: “We want to bring more people down to watch the sport.

“We have tried to get funds together for the family area and this could stop that from happening as we have to put money towards fixing issues.”

 

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