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Ketton Sports Cricket Club launches £15,000 appeal after grounds equipment is stolen





A sports club is relying on the community for help after expensive equipment was stolen just weeks ahead of the new season.

Thieves struck at Ketton Sports Cricket Club in Pit Lane, making off with most of the grounds equipment.

A £15,000 fundraising appeal has been launched to help the club prepare for its opening match on April 13.

Groundsman Malcolm Holmes needs equipment to prepare for the new season
Groundsman Malcolm Holmes needs equipment to prepare for the new season

Groundsman Malcolm Holmes said: “It was deeply upsetting to discover that all our equipment including wicket mowers and scarifiers had just been taken. Without the right machinery, we cannot prepare the ground for matches to be played.

“Between April and September the ground hosts about six matches a week and without this equipment, we will be unable to get games on for our seniors and juniors.”

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The break-in happened between Tuesday and Wednesday (February 13 and 14) last week, just days before the start of winter net sessions.

The football club's tractor has been recovered
The football club's tractor has been recovered

A blue Iseki TH4335 compact tractor belonging to Blackstones Junior Football Club, which meets at Pit Lane, was taken although this has since been recovered. The cricket club's yellow SISIS scarifier and green Lloyd’s Paladin wicket mower are still missing.

With only six weeks to go until the start of the cricket season, now is the peak time for Malcolm to prepare the pitch. Local cricket clubs and Stamford Schools have offered to loan their equipment until Ketton can replace its stolen items.

A club spokesman said: “Although we are pursuing an insurance claim and have been offered loans of equipment from other sources, we need full time use of our own kit to start preparing the wicket and outfield.

“We also want to invest further in CCTV cameras to protect our site and hope that a quick initial injection of cash can help us over the hump of the next few weeks and get our grounds ready to enjoy the start of the season.

The yellow scarifier and green Lloyd’s Paladin wicket mower are still missing
The yellow scarifier and green Lloyd’s Paladin wicket mower are still missing

“We are a grassroots club at the heart of a community. We know that leaning on the community at this time is a big ask, but we have a responsibility to our membership to provide them with an enjoyable, safe and inclusive place to play as much cricket as they can.”

Supporters have already donated £1,330 to the appeal online at www.gofundme.com/f/ketton-sports-cricket-club-appeal

Ketton is not the only club to be targeted by thieves. The pavilion at Easton-on-the-Hill Cricket Club is also believed to have been broken into the previous weekend.

Mowing equipment was also taken from Rutland Showground in Oakham. A unit was broken into between midday on Friday, February 9 and 9am the following Monday when staff arrived. A red Countax A25-50HE tractor mower and grass collection box attachment was taken, along with a Hayter rotary mower which is green with gold insignia.

A black metal frame with red fuel tank generator and a green grass cutter attachment for an Avant mower were also taken, while the Avant mower was damaged.

The suspects forced their way in via gate two on Burley Park Way, and Rutland Police wants to hear from anyone who noticed suspicious activity between those hours, or spotted any vehicles in the area of gate two. Call 101 quoting crime number 24000087746.



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