Saturday September 6 – Sussex Premier League
Roffey 186 all out Cuckfield 109 all out
Roffey won by 77 runs
Martin Read – Sports Reporter
Premier League champions Roffey finished the season in the best possible way, winning comprehensively and reaching 401 points – their final target – 53 clear of runners up Preston Nomads.
Roffey notched up 11 wins and just two defeats, both statistics comfortably outshining all rivals. Electing to bat, seemingly untroubled Roffey put on 85 for the first wicket with Rohit Jagota progressing serenely suggesting a punishing total but, when he was out for 78 with the score on 110, wickets fell too regularly.
Although three subsequent batsmen reached double figures the innings faded away at 186 in the face of Nick Patterson’s marathon 7-56. The previous Saturday Sussex’s Stefan Piolet scored 101 not out for Cuckfield and the week before that 176, but Kuldeep Rawat got him early.
Yet, Cuckfield reached 94-3 – before sliding relentlessly to 109 all out, Kuldeep taking 3-29 and Dan Smith and Rohit sharing five wickets for just 21 runs. Star all rounder Nicholas Beard was unable to bat or bowl after dislocating a finger, but Cuckfield were found wanting against determined Roffey urged on by their enthusiastic supporters.
Skipper Josh Fleming said: “The used wicket was a bit difficult but we should have got over 220. Our bowling got better as we went along though and it was great to end on a high note.”
What does winning the league mean to Roffey? The players couldn’t hide their delight, Rohit (exceeding 1,000 runs and 50 wickets in all formats) saying: “I didn’t want to jinx us but when games started to go our way I was confident that we could win the league.” George Fleming said: “We made sure we knocked over the weaker teams twice and we usually at least drew with the stronger ones!” Mike Norris’s batting played a key role and he told us: “It was great to win the league at Nomads!” All rounder Dan Smith agreeing: “We knew we were in for a tough game so it was special to clinch the title there.” Press-ganged into keeping wicket for most of the season, Matt Davies said: “It’s an easy job because our bowlers keep it on the spot – and we bat long” Kuldeep adding: “It’s been so enjoyable playing with such a pleasant group!”
President Mick Webb told the District Post: “Seven or eight of our side have come through from the colts and love playing together – it’s their camaraderie and commitment that has seen us through, as typified the day after we won the league, when we had an extraordinary president’s day game here. My team got 389 and then the club side put on 392-9, winning by a whisker – nearly 800 runs in an afternoon with seven fifties – and a crackerjack century from Matt Davies!” It’s been a real team effort at Roffey – groundsman Drew Smallwood deserving rich praise for working tirelessly to ensure that games proceeded in bad weather, giving Roffey every opportunity to score points.