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'Join our club': open invite to off-roaders who wrecked rugby pitch

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 November 2019

Members of Dereham Rugby Club were shocked to find tyre marks across the pitch. Picture: Phil Prangnell

Members of Dereham Rugby Club were shocked to find tyre marks across the pitch. Picture: Phil Prangnell

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A rugby club has condemned the actions of vandals who drove on their pitch and left tyre marks strewn across the muddy playing surface.

Members of Dereham Rugby Club were shocked to find tyre marks across the pitch. Picture: Dereham Rugby ClubMembers of Dereham Rugby Club were shocked to find tyre marks across the pitch. Picture: Dereham Rugby Club

But Phil Prangnell, facilities manager at Dereham Rugby Club, has urged those responsible to curb their 'boredom' by joining the team and trying their hand at the sport.

Mr Prangell first discovered the damage when he arrived at the club on Tuesday morning and immediately spotted tyre marks across the pitch.

It means the club - based off Moorgate Road in Toftwood - faces a race against the time to get the pitch back up to match standard ahead of their next home fixture.

"When you pull up at the club you cannot miss it," he said.

Members of Dereham Rugby Club were shocked to find tyre marks across the pitch. Picture: Phil PrangnellMembers of Dereham Rugby Club were shocked to find tyre marks across the pitch. Picture: Phil Prangnell

"In the summer timer we tend to get kids on scooters and a few in cars on the pitch, but it doesn't do a great deal of damage. Obviously at this time of year it's a different story.

"We've now got to try and repair the pitch for the next match and just hope it grows again where the tyre marks are.

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"Along with people who don't bother clearing up their dog mess, this is a real frustration.

Members of Dereham Rugby Club were shocked to find tyre marks across the pitch. Picture: Phil PrangnellMembers of Dereham Rugby Club were shocked to find tyre marks across the pitch. Picture: Phil Prangnell

"Why would you want to mess things up for other people? I'm sure there are plenty of other places around here where they can go off-roading."

Despite the inconvenience of having to rectify the damage, Mr Prangnell believes there could ultimately be a positive outcome.

He has invited the vandals to join the club and better use their time by playing rugby - instead of going out of their way to destroy the club's property.

"If they are that bored they should come along to the rugby club and get involved," added Mr Prangnell, who has been supporting the club for several years. "You never know - they might enjoy themselves.

"We're a friendly club and players of all abilities are welcome. If you've never played before, we'll you up to standard."

Dereham Rugby Club trains from 7pm to 9pm on Wednesday evenings. Matches are played on Saturdays.

Visit the club website to find out more.

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