Early wobbles cost Roffey dearly in T20 Cup

Cricket : Sussex League Premier Division: Roffey (fielding) v Billingshurst. George Flemmig (bowling) . Pic Steve Robards   SR1622491 SUS-160725-175449001
Cricket : Sussex League Premier Division: Roffey (fielding) v Billingshurst. George Flemmig (bowling) . Pic Steve Robards SR1622491 SUS-160725-175449001

Roffey fell to a shock defeat to division-lower Middleton in the semi-finals of the Gray-Nicolls T20 Cup on Sunday.

The hosts knocked off their 158 target with 11 balls to spare to book their place in the finals day at Hove.

Roffey went into the game having retaken top spot in the Premier Division on Saturday, while Middleton occupying the same place in Division 2.

The home side won the toss and put Matt Davies’ side into bat and Chris Webb led the way with an unbeaten 73 as they posted 158-7 in their 20 overs.

Opener Josh Fleming made just four, as Usman Khan (three) and Rohit Jagota (three) both fell early on, leaving Roffey at 12-3. Theo Rivers (34) and Webb brought them up to 73-4 with the latter batting all the way through the innings.

In reply, a big second over put Sean Heather’s side in the driving seat. He and Ben Hansford (11) made 29, for the first wicket and Heather (67*) and Patrick Colvin (38) took them to 92-2.

Ben Ferbrache was the fourth man in and hit an unbeaten 35 to see them home with 162-2 in the 19th over.

Davies said: “It was really disappointing. We struggled early on in both innings, losing three big wickets in the batting. When fielding, the second over went for 25 and we were always trying to play catch up from then on.

“We did not start well in either innings and you just can’t do that in T20 cricket, it really cost us. A couple of decisions did not go our way and people moan about that, but it just happens in cricket and you can’t blame that.

“We just were not good enough on the day so best of luck to Middleton in the final. They were definitely a Premier Division quality side on Sunday.

“They have Sean Heather, who always has a big score in him. If we had got him early, we would have had a massive chance to win the game, but decisions did not go our way against him.

“We need to take the disappointment from Sunday and take it into Saturday. We can now focus on our push for a third title.”

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