Pitch stunt pulls the plug on rugby club’s lights switch-on

Jake Wheelans at Victoria Park where a black Audi car was seen doing wheelspins on Saturday afternoon on the rugby pitch.
Jake Wheelans at Victoria Park where a black Audi car was seen doing wheelspins on Saturday afternoon on the rugby pitch.

A SELKIRK rugby pitch has been ruined by a do-nut driver, writes Kenny Paterson and Sandy Neil.

And police have confirmed that the same man from Mid Wales has been charged with dangerous driving and failing to stop for officers after he was involved in an accident near Midlem just two days later.

The 21-year-old from Penrhiwllan also faces allegations of careless driving and possession of cannabis after the first incident at Victoria Park, home of reigning Border Semi-Junior League champions Selkirk Youth Club, last Saturday afternoon.

The man is alleged to have driven across the grass in a black Audi and churned up the pitch before performing a series of turns, better known as do-nuts.

The incident has led Selkirk YC to call-off the official switch-on of their new floodlights this Saturday to allow the pitch to recover.

Players, committee members and volunteers put in hours of work to get the lights ready, which were partly funded by a donation from the estate of the late Alan Waldron.

Selkirk YC treasurer Jake Wheelans said: “They’ve messed up the bottom of the field. They’ve done many wheelie turns on it.

“We’ve never had bother in the park. This is the most damage I’ve seen in 30 years. I’m just disgusted.”

Mr Wheelans said every rugby player from the town would have at some point played at Victoria Park.

He added: “This is a public park, a common good park. The common good are going to be charged by the council to fix it.”

The surface may now take months to put right, Mr Wheelans added, as the club waits for the grass seed to grow after the pitch has first been rolled and laid with new top soil.

A witness, who managed to snap a photograph of the stunt, told us: “It happened between 4pm and 4.30pm. He came and just did two massive spins on where a new practice pitch is going to be, and the existing pitch.

“They were really deeply rutted. They’re going to have to be rolled to get them back into order. It was a stupid thing to do.”

Police revealed the same man failed to stop for officers on the A7 south of Selkirk on Monday evening after reports he was driving erratically.

Officers say the man continued to drive, and turned onto the A699 where the black Audi was later discovered in a hedge, having left the road at around 5pm.

Both the driver and his 19-year-old passenger from Newcastle had to be cut out of the vehicle by fire crews from Selkirk and Galashiels. Both men were taken to Borders General Hospital with minor head injuries and the A699 was shut for five hours.