Roffey U14 cricketers roar to Lions Cup victory and West Chilt also shine

Champions: Roffey U14s
Champions: Roffey U14s

Roffey and West Chiltington’s under-14 cricketers were the big winners with thrilling final wins at the six-a-side cricket competition at Christ’s Hospital School on Sunday.

The Roffey boys won the main competition of the Horsham Lions Challenge Cup with a last-gasp win over Three Bridges in the final, while West Chiltington & Thakeham enjoyed a similarly dramatic victory over Barns Green in the Plate final.

Sunday’s tournament, organised by the Horsham Lions and the Identilam Colt Cricket League for the 19th consecutive year at Christ’s Hospital School, saw 16 teams take part from 14 different clubs from Sussex and Surrey.

Although the weather conditions were decidedly cool, the cricket was anything but with the initial 24 round robin matches extremely close with the majority of matches seeing less than five runs between the sides.

The four teams to reach the semis were Roffey, Three Bridges, Horsham Trinity A and East Grinstead, while Horley, Southwater, Barns Green A and West Chilt made it through to the Plate semis.

The semis of both competitions followed the same intensity with all games being decided on the very last ball of the match, Roffey and Bridges making the main final and West Chilt and Barns Green reaching the Plate final.

On a bright Sunny evening Barns Green batted first and scored 25-3 after some excellent bowling and fielding, and West Chilt then made a winning 26-0 with seven balls to spare.

It set the tone nicely for the main competition final which followed, and saw Three Bridges bat first and make 45-3 with Roffey’s bowlers having the edge.

At 24-0 in reply Roffey seemed to be heading for victory, but Jordan Bell was unlucky when his big shot hit a tree instead of going for six.

Then needing three to win off the final ball Bell and Joel Colbran scrambled two runs to force a tie, with Roffey taking the cup in dramatic fashion because they lost fewer wickets.