Davies demands more from Roffey after second consecutive T20 Cup final defeat

Matt Davies wants Roffey to be ‘more than just a successful league side’ after the Boars fell to a narrow 12 run loss against Eastbourne in Sunday’s T20 Cup final.

Wednesday, 11th September 2019, 11:24 am
The Roffey team ready to take to the field at Hove on Sunday. Picture by Mark Dunford

Bourne, electing to bat, posted 159-6 off their allotted 20 overs as Malcolm Johnson smashed 64 off 45 balls.

Rohit Jagota (56 off 35) put Roffey in control but a match-winning performance from Joe Pocklington (3-20) reduced the Boars to 147-6 off their allotted overs to see the trophy head to the south coast.

Roffey have now suffered two consecutive T20 Cup final defeats - the Boars were beaten by East Grinstead on fewer wickets lost in 2018 after the scores were level - and Davies rued another ‘huge disappointment’ in the competition.

He said: “It is a huge disappointment not to win. We are all absolutely gutted and will be for a while.

“It’s been a decent season for us, especially going unbeaten in the league. However, we want to be more than just a successful league side.

“The gap between us and the other sides in recent years has been huge. We haven’t been anywhere near our best this season and yet we’ve won another league title.”

Eastbourne openers James Hockley (22) and Johnson put on 32 before Hockley was run out by Mike Norris.

Johnson and Scott Lenham (16) bludgeoned 73 at two to motor the total to 105. But a pair of stumpings off the excellent Luke Barnard (3-31) pegged Bourne back to 131-4.

David Twine (two) and Alastair Orr (12 off seven) were the last wickets to fall before the inning’s end.

The reply saw openers Ben Manenti (29 off 17) and Jagota build a 44 run partnership. The Australian seemed to be finding his groove but he was caught off the bowling of Scott Lenham (1-21).

Jagota and Jibran Khan (43) then took the game by the scruff of the neck. The pair crashed 58 at two to power Roffey to 102 before Jagota was trapped lbw by Archie Lenham (1-30).

Khan and Norris (ten) added 33 for the third-wicket, to see the total at 135, but a devastating spell from Pocklington curtailed Roffey as the Boars went from 135-2 to 147-5.

Henry Crocombe (1-29) bowled Khan with the final ball of the game to spark jubilation for Eastbourne.

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Davies added: “It was a pretty poor performance from us with the ball and then in the latter stages with the bat. We allowed them to get to a total that was more than it should’ve been.

“With five overs to go we were heavy favourites but Eastbourne dragged themselves back into the game and were good enough to get the win.

“Rohit’s innings was brilliant but, apart from against the new ball, we struggled to score at a quick enough rate to take the game away from them.”

After Sunday’s final, Davies revealed that talismanic Australian Ben Manenti may not be returning to Roffey in 2020.

The all-rounder has had a marvellous 2019 Premier Division season. Manenti was the division’s tenth-highest run scorer, 645 runs at an average of 40.31, and the seventh-highest wicket-taker, 26 wickets at an average of 22.77.

With Manenti set to return back to his homeland Davies hailed the Australian’s impact over his four year stint at the Boars.

Davies said: “Ben has some decisions to make in the winter. Chances are we may not see him back in a Roffey shirt next season.

“He’s been absolutely fantastic for us in his four seasons, both on the field and off the field. He is loved by everyone at the club and we all wish him the best of luck back in Sydney.

“Not many clubs will share a bond like Roffey does with Ben, I’ve no doubt that he will succeed wherever he plays.

“On behalf of the whole club, all we can say is thank you.”