The huge price Wyre Cricket Club could pay after latest vandal attack

Wyre Cricket Club's sight screen lies wrecked after youths used it as a bike ramp.
Wyre Cricket Club's sight screen lies wrecked after youths used it as a bike ramp.
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Vandals have struck again at a Fylde coast cricket club, the latest in a string of attacks costing thousands of pounds of damage.

And Wyre Cricket Club, based at Cottam Hall Sports Grounds in Poulton-le-Fylde, says the mindless destruction could undermine the club's precious place in the Palace Shield Cricket League.

The metal and fibreglass pitch cover at Wyre Cricket Club, Poulton, has been destroyed

The metal and fibreglass pitch cover at Wyre Cricket Club, Poulton, has been destroyed

The club has contacted the police about the latest incident, thought to have occurred some time in the early hours of Monday, May 27, and is appealing to the public to contact the force if they see anything suspicious.

On this occasion one of the club's sightscreens, a specialised board giving the batsman a clean view of the bowler's delivery, was overturned and used as a ramp for youths on pedal bikes and mopeds, destroying it beyond repair.

The club says it is likely to cost well over a thousand pounds to replace it.

The roof of the pavilion was also attacked and in the past year, other items of equipment have been destroyed and still need replacing.

Wyre Cricket Club has teams in the Fylde Cricket League and Palace Shield competition

Wyre Cricket Club has teams in the Fylde Cricket League and Palace Shield competition

Club member David Wright said: " This has become a real problem for us.

" Late last season our cricket pitch covers were destroyed, again causing thousands of pounds of damage.

"We have now been hit with a huge cost to dispose of the remnants of the cover, which is made of fibre glass and metal.

"This latest attack has now put cricket at the venue in jeopardy as without these facilities we simply cannot get a game to go ahead."

"The Palace Shield Cricket Competition, which is the league structure that both Wyre's first and second teams compete in, has rigorous rules on cricket ground facilities being in place before a club is allowed to compete.

"The club is in serious danger of losing league cricket status if the vandalism continues."

The grounds and pavilion building are owned by Wyre Council are hired out for use by both Wyre Cricket Club and Blackpool Ladies FC.

Both clubs have been working with Wyre council over the last few years on restoration activities on the pavilion building itself but have been hampered with spates of vandalism with roof slates being ripped off and evidence of drug and substance use being found outside the pavilion building.

Mr Wright added: "Wyre Council has been really supportive with these restoration activities but there is only so much they can do with limited budgets, every week the ground staff do a wonderful job with preparing the pitch for a Saturday.

"It is just such a shame that mindless youths who are determined to cause damage just don’t care and want to spoil it for the club and the community, undoing all the hard work that volunteers commit their time to.

"These acts of vandalism are always reported to the Police but more often than not the vandals have long gone when the Police arrive, we have looked at the possibility of surveillance equipment can be installed but it is just too expensive.

"We now have an uphill task of trying to find funds for the replacement sightscreens and cricket pitch covers, and our fear is that even if we do managed to obtain the equipment, then without the adequate protection from the vandals they will just get destroyed again."

He said the club was appealing for people in the Poulton area to be vigilant and report any damage by calling 101 or to call 999 if a crime is taking place.

If anyone has any information to the identity of the vandals they are to contact the Poulton neighbourhood team of Lancashire Police on (01253) 890813, email GarstangOverWyreandPoulton.NPT@lancashire.pnn.police.uk.

If anyone wishes to support Wyre Cricket Club with repairs, the club can be contacted by email at info@wyrecc.co.uk, on facebook at https://en-gb.facebook.com/WyreCC/ or on twitter @WyreCricketClub.