Residents of Ryde are devastated ahead of the new crown green bowling season starting in three weeks with the news that the Esplanade bowling greens have been trashed overnight.
"I came in this morning," said greens keeper, Geoffrey Hardhat, 76 of Ryde. "It looks like somebody has driven a JCB across the turf, and filled in the ruts with dog mess. It's ruined, there's no way I can get it fixed in time for the new season."
Ryde police chief, Derek Pensioner, 55, is a member of the Ryde bowling team, and believes he knows who the culprits are.
"I believe I know who the culprits are," said Ryde police chief, Derek Pensioner, 55, of the Ryde bowling team. "It's that lot from Ventnor. They were due to be our opening game here in three weeks, and we've beaten them every year for the past seventy-five years. I've put both my officers on this case, and they will not go unpunished."
Where the Ventnor bowling team acquired a JCB is as yet unclear, and Peter Hopplehost, 62, captain of the Ventnor Bowling team is adamant that they were not responsible, and believes that the Ryde team did it themselves to avoid being beaten.
"It weren't us," he said. "They probably did it themselves to avoid being beaten and losing their perfect record. Our team has been playing together now for nearly twenty years, and some of the players are starting to gel, and Ryde have lost their star player, Charles Houghtree, god rest his soul."
Ryde council are confident that the pitch and putt at the other end of the Esplenade can be converted into a crown green in time for the match, and are hoping that the bad feelings between the two clubs can be put aside for the match.
"We're hoping that their won't be any trouble," said Ryde councillor, Sally Ryde, 42. "We've drafted in a couple of community officers from Newport to watch over the game."