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Gravesend RF cricket square targeted by vandals

The chairman of a cricket club whose ground was targeted by vandals says he’s tried to put himself in the minds of whoever is responsible.

Gravesend RF, who play at the site of the town’s rugby club in Donald Biggs Drive, discovered a series of motorbike tyre marks on their square.

Damaged square at Gravesend RF
Damaged square at Gravesend RF

They’d just completed renovation works following the 2020 season and can only hope the pitches recover in time for next summer.

“I’ve tried to put myself in their mind and work out why they would do it,” said chairman Min Mann.

“I guess it’s boredom although if I was ever bored, I don’t think I’d do anything like that.

“Whoever it was has targeted the most valuable area - the square.

Gravesend RF chairman Min Mann
Gravesend RF chairman Min Mann

“I reckon it’s one guy on a motorbike and I’m just thankful, looking at the depth of the damage, that they weren’t a heavyweight.

“It must have been either someone quite young or a lightweight adult.

“They’ve wheelspun just before they got on the square and where the ground is so soft, they’ve skidded a bit and done a couple of donuts.

“At that point I reckon they’ve either seen someone or they’ve spotted the cameras around the pavilion, which we put up to cover that area after having problems, and they’ve shot off, doing a bit of damage on the outfield too.

Damaged square at Gravesend RF
Damaged square at Gravesend RF

"We’d only had the renovation work done a month or so before, so it was pretty new in terms of grass and the soil.

"We’ve had a couple of guys down from the Kent Groundsman Association and they did what they could in terms of repairs along with our groundsman.

“We’ve done what we can, it’s now a case of wait and see where we are in the spring.”

Damaged square at Gravesend RF
Damaged square at Gravesend RF

Gravesend RF initially feared they would have to find an alternative venue for next season’s home games but their two Kent Regional League sides should get by on the undamaged pitches.

Mann said: “We didn’t know how bad the damage was when we saw the pictures but, luckily, it’s only on four strips, leaving us four to play with.

“It’s one of those that could have been worse - but it shouldn’t happen at all."

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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