Cricketers in Long Sutton have been dealt a blow just three weeks before the new season starts with the theft of two lawn mowers.
Preparations for the teams, which open their South Lincolnshire and Border League seasons on April 16, were set back after sheds at the club’s grounds in Park Road were forced open and the mowers stolen on Friday night.
The Atco and Allett lawn mowers are worth £500 and £450 respectively which the club will now have to replace, just two months after cricketers returned for their winter training programme in Long Sutton.
Club secretary Adam Wright said: “Thieves have tried to get into the shed at the bottom of Paradise Field (the club’s cricket ground) before, without managing to do so.
“But this time, they used bolt clippers to prise open one of the outer doors to the shed before taking the two wicket mowers.
“One is an Atco and the other an Allett which have both just been refurbished.
“The police came down on Saturday morning and took away the bolt clippers which were left at the scene, along with a padlock which has a mark on where they tried to cut it.
“It’s a big pain for us and we are now looking into the possibility of getting a storage container for the club’s equipment.”
Long Sutton Cricket Club, which currently has four senior teams, a junior section and ladies team, is part of Long Sutton Community Sports Association, along with Long Sutton Hockey Club.
Together, the two clubs financed the building of a pavilion in Park Road which was opened by the Earl of Ancaster, James Heathcote-Drummond-Willoughby, in May 1975.
South Holland District Council member for Long Sutton Coun Laura Eldridge who, along with fellow district councillor Jack Tyrrell, plan to offer some financial help to the cricket club through a funding pot designated for council members.
Coun Eldridge said: “I was disgusted to discover on (social media) that there had been a break in (at Long Sutton Cricket Club) and that two wicket mowers had been stolen.
“Long Sutton Cricket Club is here for the enjoyment of the community and sport is a great way to bring the community together.
“At the same time as appealing for anyone with any information to come forward, Coun Tyrrell and I have decided to offer a portion of our designated budget towards replacing some of the equipment and increasing security at Paradise Field to prevent any future break-ins.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.