Roffey suffer league and cup disappointment on wet weekend

On Saturday Roffey CC’s home game versus East Grinstead CC eventually fell victim to the weather, the only Premier Division game to be abandoned, with Roffey dropping down to third as a result, and on Sunday the Boars were unceremoniously dumped out of the National Cup after being shaded by Reigate Priory CC in a bowl out.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 3:57 pm
Roffey captain Matt Davies. Picture by Derek Martin

Because of a wet pitch, Saturday’s league match was reduced to 30 overs each way with a 2.30pm start, and in search of maximum batting points, Roffey elected to take first strike.

The ground was wet and Roffey soon found themselves 26-4 after former Sussex bowler Lewis Hatchett had dismissed both openers, and Ian Sturmer, also with first class experience, chipped in with the prized scalps of Rohit Jagota and Mike Norris - until the ever consistent Matt Davies set about a partial recovery with a measured 37, Sam Henderson weighing in with 29.

But, Roffey’s last five wickets fell for 20, as they subsided to 121 all out in 29.1 overs, Hatchett sharing the bowling honours - with 3-21 – with Sam Rattle (3-22), and Sturmer and former Billingshurst player Andy Barr taking two apiece.

And, that was it – a heavy downpour mid innings putting paid to any further action, recent encounters between the two clubs often involving rain offs.

Roffey skipper Davies told the County Times: “We were about 20 short, but it was difficult to predict what might have happened in the bowler friendly conditions – East Grinstead are a great bowling side, but perhaps batting is not their main strength (they were shot out for 134 in a heavy defeat against Preston Nomads the week before).”

On Sunday in the National Cup, the saturated bowlers’ run up at the bottom end, and the waterlogged state of parts of the square deemed a bowl out necessary, with Reigate unable to fit in a rearranged match at their ground over the bank holiday.

In the absence of some senior players, this was possibly Roffey’s best chance of proceeding, Surrey Championship Premier League Reigate having thrashed Sunbury CC the day before.

Sadly, though, when a straight full toss would have sufficed, Roffey’s bowlers only managed to hit the stumps once from ten balls.

With two strikes Reigate were little better, but it was enough, Chris Murtagh, notably a batsman and an erstwhile Surrey signing (where bowl outs are practised), hitting the stumps twice in as many balls.

Philosophical as ever, Davies said: “Well, we’re out of both the National and Sussex Cups already, so now we’ll be concentrating on retaining our league title, and on Saturday we travel to fourth-placed Middleton.”