Anger as cricket net in Woodmancote targeted by vandals
"MINDLESS" vandals have ruined practice nets at a village cricket club.
Bosses at Woodmacote Cricket Club, near Cheltenham, have voiced their anger after turning up this week to find the metal poles supporting the facility had been twisted and left in a mangled heap.
To make matters worse, it is the third time the club has been struck in similar fashion this season.
Club chairman Paul Goring said: "We are hugely disappointed that this has happened.
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"It is nothing more than mindless thuggery.
"What gets me is that there is absolutely no purpose to what these people have done.
"It's not as if they were trying to steal anything.
"They just clearly had too much time on their hands and were intent on causing as much damage as possible."
The club, which is in its 75th year, provides cricket facilities for more than 80 adult and youth players from the area.
Vandals have already targeted the nets once this season and on another occasion they kicked over a plaque in tribute to former club chairman Steve Sawyer.
After the latest incident, on Thursday night, the nets have been taken down early, leaving youth teams with nowhere to practice for the rest of the season.
Mr Goring voiced frustration that the club members would be the ones to suffer.
"This year is our 75th anniversary and during that time we have been involved in many voluntary community projects, such as resurfacing a footpath," he said.
"We are massively disappointed that anyone would want to cause this kind of damage when all we are trying to do is provide sport for the local youth and wider community.
"These nets have been up for around five years and it took a lot of effort to raise money to buy them in the first place.
"It's just a shame that our youth cricketers will be the ones to lose out."
The vandalism took place at Woodmancote Playing Field on Thursday night, or possibly in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Police said anyone with information about the incident should call them on 101.
To report information anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.