Roffey coach Fearnley praises East Grinstead’s performance in T20 Cup victory

Horsham (batting) v Roffey. Alex Collins?  . Pic Steve Robards SR1817031 SUS-180307-104416001
Horsham (batting) v Roffey. Alex Collins? . Pic Steve Robards SR1817031 SUS-180307-104416001

Roffey coach Simon Fearnley gave great credit to victors East Grinstead for managing the ‘pressure moments’ of the game as they lifted the Gray-Nicolls T20 Cup on Sunday.

They beat previous holders Roffey via means of fewer wickets lost in a dramatic final of the Sussex League competition at Hove.

That came after both teams posted 144 runs in their allotted 20 overs thanks to some final-ball drama.

East Grinstead, however, batting first, put up 144-6
compared to Roffey’s 
144-8, which clinched them the silverware.

Roffey’s chase was a dramatic one and Alex Collins hit a four off the last ball to level the scores, although he and his team-mates originally thought he had hit a six to win the game.

That was after needing ten from the last six balls to win in an over that also included a free hit, but Roffey came up just short.

In East Grinstead’s innings, Will Adkin made 45 after they won the toss and elected to bat, while Luke Barnard claimed 2-19.

In reply, opener Paul Harrison made a brilliant 66 – which looked like it would be a matchwinning innings at times, before he was dismissed – captain Matt Davies 26 and Jibran Khan 14 in a run chase that was always going to be a tight affair.

In the bowling attack, Lewis Hatchett and Ollie Graham, who was on a hat-trick at one stage, took the key wickets that saw them home.

Had Roffey got over the line, there would have been a few complaints from the East Grinstead camp after their opponents were awarded a six instead of a four in the run chase.

Roffey might well have means to be frustrated themselves after a questionable lbw decision on Rohit Jagota, where the umpire consulted the square leg, before making his decision much to the surprise of Jagota, his team-mates and captain.

But a gracious Fearnley said: “It was frustrating obviously as we lost the game, but credit to East Grinstead as well.

“I thought in some of the real pressure moments of the game, they did very well and that was the difference.

“I really would not take anything away from East Grinstead winning on the day.

“Yes, from our point of view it was disappointing, but I am a fan of East Grinstead and their bowling attack.

“They like to, generally speaking, post a total batting first and then rely on the strength of their bowling attack to stand firm under pressure.

“There were some turning points in the game – the dismissal of Paul Harrison. He was well set and looking very, very dangerous.

“He did look at that point he would take the game away from East Grinstead.

“It was a combination of his dismissal and Rohit’s dismissal. There was some controversy around that one, but that is the game.

“Some of them go for you and some of them don’t that is the game of cricket.

“Had those gone differently then I think we might have got over the line.”