Roffey thrash Cuckfield in league opener to avenge cup defeat
Despite heavy overnight rain, Roffey CC’s home game versus Cuckfield CC got underway last Saturday thanks to heroic efforts by groundsman Drew Smallwood and positive umpiring from Messrs Dunford and Shaikh.
And, the truncated - 29 overs a side - Premier League game resulted in a comprehensive victory for Roffey, exacting swift revenge over Cuckfield, who had eliminated them from the Sussex T20 Cup a week before.
Roffey won the toss and took first strike to maximise on the opportunity of batting points, a wise decision.
Left-handed opener Usman Khan, back with Roffey after a spell at Preston Nomads, hit the ball very cleanly with seven fours and four sixes in a rapid 60. He was particularly severe on Ollie Graham, and his innings was only ended by a running mix up.
Then, skipper Matt Davies, Sam Henderson and George Fleming chipped in with 20s to enable Roffey to post a useful, but not killer 202-9.
For Cuckfield veteran Nick Patterson battled with radar problems, but still took 3-26, while, in addition to engineering Khan’s run out, Ben Canfield finished with 2-45.
Because of the wet outfield there was a short boundary on the school side and it remained to be seen what challenges seven runs an over would pose.
Joe Ludlow had scored two unbeaten 40s in the Sussex Cup on the previous Saturday, and top-scored with 33, but only two of his teammates managed double figures as Roffey relentlessly worked their way through to a 123-run victory by dismissing Cuckfield for 79.
This was an old fashioned Roffey strangle with runs on the board backed by tight bowling and tigerish fielding, Harnoop Kalsi and Luke Barnard each bagging three cheap wickets to open Roffey’s defence of their league title with a very handy maximum 30 point win, especially as only one other Premier Division fixture was fulfilled - Brighton & Hove CC overwhelming newcomers Haywards Heath CC.
Delighted Roffey skipper Matt Davies told the County Times: “Usman got us off to such a good start and then others contributed to a decent score before we bowled and fielded really well.
"It’s great to begin with a win when we didn’t think we’d play – sincere thanks to groundsman Drew for making it possible.”
Khan added: “I was seeing it well so it was frustrating to get out, but the win was the main thing!”
A full scorecard from Roffey's win at Cuckfield can be found at https://sussexcricketleague.play-cricket.com/website/results/4684025.
This weekend is a big one for Roffey – on Saturday they travel to strong league contenders Eastbourne CC, and then, on Sunday, host Reigate CC - now former Horsham leg spinner Michael Munday’s club – in the National Knockout Cup.
Meanwhile, last Saturday, Roffey CC 2 XI, playing in Division 2 – their highest ever level – beat Chichester Priory Park CC, thanks to a run-a-ball 141 not out by opener Chris Webb.