A CRICKET club has been hit for six after moped-riding vandals caused damage to their pitch.

Players at Harwich and Dovercourt Cricket Club have been left “disappointed” after finding yobs had ridden across the field, potentially affecting the next cricket season.

This is the second time the pitch, which is owned by Tendring Council, has been vandalised over the past two years.

A similar act of vandalism took place last year, when another moped-riding caused damage to the ground.

Lee Davis, who is the chairman of the club, says the damage might not be “as bad as previously” but said it still means a lot of work and effort will have to go in to repairing it.

He said: “ It is not as bad for us from a cricket team perspective, because we are out of season.

“But it takes the whole year for the groundsman to work on the pitch.

“Every time someone does something like this it really puts him back.

“It means he will have to work twice as hard to get the pitch ready for the season.

“It is very disappointing to see this happen again.

“If someone acts like this again in a short space of time it might mean we are not be able to play cricket next season because the pitch is not prepared in time.”

Mr Davis said fences have previously been put in place around the field, but vandals still rip them down and cause damage.

Mr Davis said to make matters worse, the pitch has already been affected by bad weather.

He added: “Rain is good in small amounts but as soon as you get extensive amount it affects the pitches as they are based either just below or on the sea level.

“And when you put a moped on a pitch that is already wet that is just going to tear it even more.

“50 yards to the left or the right and this would have affected the football pitch.”

Dovercourt All Saints ward councillor Jo Henderson has also expressed her frustration at the vandalism.

“This is just another mindless act,” she said.

“We are trying to improve the area and it is sad that time and money have to go to repair this which could be spent otherwise.”

Michael Talbot, Tendring councillor responsible for for environment, said:“Fortunately the damage is only superficial and, while it does not look great, with some of our usual care it will be fully repaired in time for the cricket season in the spring.”

“If anyone has information about who damaged the pitch then I would urge you to report it to police on 101.”