A CRICKET club has been forced to spend thousands of pounds dealing with continuing vandalism.

Little Lever Cricket Club has been repeatedly targeted over a period of years and is now installing CCTV cameras.

The club has taken a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to help it deal with damage, including smashed fence panels and a broken roof.

Head coach John Pendlebury called the problems an “ongoing battle” between the club and the vandals.

He said: “Just last Sunday evening I was driving past and I could see there were a couple of kids on the roof.

“They saw me and ran off. A lot of my time is spent cleaning up after them.”

A fortnight ago, vandals cracked a line of cement fence panels outside the club, which will now need to be replaced.

It is the third time fence panels have been damaged in the past two years. Previously vandals have climbed on top of one of the club’s storage buildings, creating a hole in the recently-repaired roof.

Last summer, there were problems when a group of youths used some of the benches outside the clubhouse to climb into the elevated score box, causing damage to the building and attempting to steal some equipment before being scared off.

Andrea Moxon, the club secretary, said: “We are having to have the garage roof repaired because all the machinery is inside.

"It has caused a lot of disruption which is not cheap, and we have had to apply for a grant.” The club also suffered from a burglary in February last year, when raiders broke into the clubhouse and stole £200 worth of stock.

It follows another vandalism incident at Bradshaw Cricket Club last weekend.

A group of more than 30 youths cause over £700 of damage to the club, including breaking advertising hoardings surrounding the pitch, which had been installed just 18 hours earlier.

Bradshaw CC has also been blighted by vandalism over the past year, in a similar way to Little Lever.