Cup defeats can spur us on to national glory, says Roffey coach ahead of Vitality Club T20 finals

Roffey CC 1st XI batsmen Jibran Khan and Theo Rivers take Roffey on to the next stage. Photo by Clive Turner
Roffey CC 1st XI batsmen Jibran Khan and Theo Rivers take Roffey on to the next stage. Photo by Clive Turner

Roffey coach Simon Fearnley believes they have learnt enough from their last two cup defeats to spur them on to national glory in the ECB Vitality Club T20 this weekend.

The Boars travel to finals day of the competition at the 3aaa County Ground in Derby on Sunday bidding to be the first Sussex team to lift the trophy.

They face off against Hanging Heaton in the semi-final with a place in the final up for grabs against either Nantwich of Swardeston.

When they reclaimed the Premier Division three weekends ago, Roffey were still in the hunt for four trophies this season. Since then, they have been knocked out of the ECB National Club Championship at the semi-final stage and lost the Gray-Nicolls T20 Cup final to East Grinstead on Sunday.

But Fearnley believes those defeats can help spur them on to glory on Sunday.

He said: “If we play good cricket in two games with bat, ball and in the field, then I do not doubt the side can bounce back from the last couple of weekend’s disappointments and lift the trophy. I have no doubt this side has the capabilities to do that.

“It won’t be easy with the teams we are up against, but if we make good choices and right decisions, we have as good a chance as any one of the other three teams.

“As disappointing as Sunday was, I definitely think we can learn from it and take that into this weekend. Although we got beat and everyone was absolutely gutted that we lost it, I actually think we can benefit from that and it can make us a better side.

Fearnley also believes there were positives to take from their defeat against East Grinstead.

The match has been a hot topic at training this week between himself and captain Matt Davies.

The coach explained: “We had a long conversation of what we thought we could have done better on Sunday and what we have got in place for this weekend.

“Going forward from our position of the national T20 this weekend, there were good things to come out of the game on Sunday. Paul Harrison’s runs at the top of the order were very important for us.”

And while Sunday remains The Boars’ only chance now at doing a double this season, Fearnley is adamant that the final trophy they are fighting for is the most prestigious.

He added: “Of the three semi-finals and final, I think this is the biggest competition of them. We need to go into these matches with our spirits high and I know in this Roffey team they will and that goes for the whole club as well.”

“I do think that the T20 national knockout competition is the biggest of the national competitions, dare I say it. The fact it is on television and other things mean it is more popular now.

“The number of teams in the 40-over competition has reduced over the past ten to 15 years, they have lost some numbers and I don’t know if that is because the final is not at Lord’s anymore.

“You have to qualify for the T20 and I think it is more sought-after competition. The fact no Sussex club has won it... from our point of view, it would be nice to do that as the first club in the county.”

They will travel to Derby at the weekend with a fully-fit squad with no injuries reported at training.

Roffey’s last-four match on Sunday starts at 3.45pm with the earlier semi-final taking place at 11.15am. The final will follow both games.