A CRICKET club which has been part of village life for 140 years is at risk of closure if a solution to the problem of balls landing in neighbours' gardens can't be found.

Weaverham Cricket Club, which was founded in 1883, has been at its Wallerscote Road home since the 1920s.

But in the last four years, complaints of cricket balls damaging the club's neighbours' windows, cars and roofs has increased.

Nearby residents are now insisting a protective netting is installed in the grounds, however the club cannot afford the up-to-£150,000 cost quoted for installation and necessary works.

Now, the club is hosting a public meeting for anyone in the village or beyond to come along and share their views in the hopes a solution can be found.

Club secretary Ian Bridge said: "We cannot afford, on our own, to put this netting up. We’ve tried to get grants, but nothing has been forthcoming and I think the maximum we can get is £50,000 anyway.

“We’ve reached a bit of an impasse which is why there’s a meeting for people to have their say.

Northwich Guardian: A match at the cricket clubA match at the cricket club (Image: Ian Bridge)

"The options we’ve got to us are: put the netting up – which we can’t afford; look to sell the ground and relocate – if it’s possible; or the third option is just close the club in its 140th year.

"We are not criticising our neighbours’ opinion in any way. They’re entitled to it, but we like to think there is a middle ground, where we can reduce and mitigate the issue as much as we possibly can, but perhaps have a little understanding that, on occasion, this may happen.

"This would be our nirvana point where we could continue playing cricket at Wallerscote Road for the foreseeable future."

The club, which has four teams, has looked into other solutions in the past such as using different wickets further from the neighbours' boundary, but this can't be done on a permanent basis.

Ian added: "Every time it happens, whether it’s to repair a window or roof, damaged cars, we have insurance in place or we pay for it ourselves.

Northwich Guardian:

"But we are faced with a very real possibility, if we can’t find some common ground, we might have to close the club and move or permanent closure.

"We’d really like to work with our neighbours to try and do what we can. We understand, if a ball hits your roof or breaks a window, it must be annoying.

"There really is a sense of community spirit there at the club and we’d love to have our neighbours involved in it rather than our current situation.

"We’ve had some difficulties but we want to work for the whole community to get this sorted once and for all."

All are welcome at the meeting, which takes place at the Weaverham Community Centre in Russet Road from 7.30pm on July 20.