Ludlow leads Cuckfield to win over reigning champs Roffey

Joe Ludlow in action
Joe Ludlow in action

Cuckfield welcomed current Sussex Premier League champions Roffey to Cuckfield park on Saturday.

Having won the toss and bowled first on a wicket that had been subjected to the preceeding week’s volatile weather and a lot of overnight rain, Roffey began, unusually, with two spinners operating at either end.

RohitJagota quickly found turn and bounce, having Jeet Raval caught behind edging a spinning delivery to the wicket keeper.

Dominic Sear followed soon after, adjudged caught at short leg for 1. On a pitch that spun prodigiously from the first over, Roffey quickly began attempting to tie down Cuckfield, but it was the medium pace of Fleming that brought the wicket of ‘keeper Brad Gayler, adjudged LBW for 6.

This brought Harry Clark to the crease to join Joe Ludlow, and both quickly began upping the scoring with simple, methodical cricket shots - and in the case of Clark, one huge six over the pavilion roof.

Both fought hard, taking the score to 81 before Clark edged the returning Jagota to slip for 22, courtesy of a brilliant catch from Leigh Harrison.

Ludlow remained the constant throughout the Cuckfield innings, and at times it seemed as though he was batting on a different pitch to everyone else, mixing booming cover drives with precise placement, he put on 80 with Abi Sakande, before Sakande ran at George Fleming to find himself stumped for a well-made 33.

Ludlow continued, farming the strike well and protecting the tail, before unleashing an assault of slog-sweeps off Luke Barnard, taking himself to a hundred in the last over with a massive six over mid wicket, before following this with two more huge blows into the leg side.

Finishing on 117 off 171 balls, and having looked rarely in trouble on an extremely challenging batting surface, on which no other batsman on either side scored more than 33, it was clear to anyone at Cuckfield Park that they had witnessed something special. Barnard finished with 3 for 90, while Fleming took 3 for 48.

With a target of 215 to defend, Cuckfield went into the break the happier of the two sides, but a long Roffey batting line up and a pitch that was getting easier and easier to bat on meant that the opposition had the potential to chase it down.

Taking note from the exploits of Roffey, Cuckfield also opted to open the bowling with a spinner, as left-arm spinner Hayward joined the pace of Sakande.

Both made scoring extremely difficult, with Sakande utilising his pace and the lateral movement the wicket was offering to see off Fleming - caught in the slips attempting to avoid a Sakande bouncer, before Chris Webb was suckered into a loose drive at a full length ball, again caught behind.

Jibran Khan quickly began to counter, with a number of impressive shots of the back foot, but he could only look on as Theo Rivers was caught behind off left-arm spinner Billy Collinson, and the dangerous Jagota followed almost immediately after, knicking Nick Patterson to slip for 1.

Jibran followed soon after, lbw to Patterson for 33. Despite a promising resistance from Usman Khan and Ben Manenti, both fell playing rash shots as Manenti skied a Sakande bouncer to Raval, and Khan chipped a fairly innocuous ball from Hayward to long-on for 24.

Patterson returned to take two more wickets, and although the Roffey tail took the game deep, Sakande proved too quick for Barnard, who saw his stumps rearranged with six overs to go, leaving Roffey all out for 143. Sakande took 4-28 while Patterson finished with 4-41.

Cuckfield 1st XI v Chichester 1st XI - T20 Cup

Cuckfield won the toss and elected to bat at Priory Park. Fresh off the back of an unbeaten century the day before, Ludlow and pinch-hitting Gayler put on 81 before Gayler was bowled by Chi skipper Matt Geffen for 28 from 22 balls in the ninth over.

Ludlow departed shortly after, also bowled by Geffen, for 66 from 40 balls.

Jack Bowman cameo’d with a run-a-ball 10 as Cuckfield maintained the momentum. Bowman’s departure brought together Tom Weston and Ben Candfield who batted for the remainder of the innings. Weston mixed quick singles with boundaries to finish not out on 31 from 24 balls. Candfield played with flair and ingenuity to belt 43 from 22 balls including 4 fours and 3 sixes, holing out off the last ball of the innings. Cuckfield made 190 for 4 in their 20 overs.

Needing over 9 an over from the off, Chichester set about the chase and thanks to Jonny Heaven (25) and Jay Hartard, the hosts reached 79 after 10 overs, but crucially had already lost 4 wickets. Hartard continued to pursue the run-rate, but was caught behind by Gayler off Collinson for 49 from 27 balls. Matt Bennison (15) and Abhishek Patel (20) kept the chase alive, but the seam bowling duo of Nick Patterson (4/34) and Greg Wisdom (3/16) brough the game to an end as Cuckfield bowled Chi out for 148 in the last over.

Cuckfield 2nd XI v Seaford 1st XI

Cuckfield won the toss and elected to bat first at Seaford. Cuckfield lost Wisdom early to the bowling of Tim Goddard, but James Mitchinson and George Galbraith-Gibbons stabilised the innings, putting on 36 before both fell in quick succession in the twenties to Zak Hearsey.

They were quickly followed by Senadhira and Cuckfield looked in trouble at 54 for 4. Jack Bowman and Ben John stemmed the flow of wickets in a partnership of 59, taking the score to 114 before John was caught off Backhouse for 36. Waghorn (20) joined Bowman (33), but the remaining wickets fell regularly as Cuckfield completed their 53 overs on 162/9. Mitchell Backhouse took 3/50 nd there were two wickets each for Goddard, Hearsey and Stanyard.

Seaford lost two early wickets in the chase, both caught behind off Hutchings, leaving them 39 for 2. A match winning partnership of 113 followed, however, between Mitchell Backhouse and Oliver Smith. The pair took the score to 152 before Smith became Hutchings’s third victim. It was academic though as Seaford reached their target in the 36th over. Hutchings took 3/32 for Cuckfield.

Cuckfield 3rd XI v Ardingly 1st XI

Cuckfield won the toss and Ardingly and asked the hosts to bat first, a decision which paid off as Chris Osborne took 4/40 and Matt Denyer 4/14 (including a hat-trick) to bowl the home side out for 79. Jim Castle top scored with 19*.

Cuckfield lost early wickets in the chase, but Ben Caidan (34) anchored the innings and cameos from Sam Candfield (15) and Joe White (11) saw Cuckfield reach their target in the 27th over.

Cuckfield 4th XI v Brunswick Village

Having lost the toss and been put into bat at home, Cuckfield proceeded to rack up 238 for 2 in their 47 overs. James Buckeridge carried his bat for 104* and Tom Bonanate hit 71 in the Cuckfield total supported with 21 from Mike Caidan and 32 not out from Charlie Best.

Having lost both the openers to the bowling of Guy Dixon, Jamie Funnell (55), Arosh Fernandopulle (75) and Jamie Hyde (24) kept up the scoring rate and Brunwsick’s hope of victory very much a reality. A late flurry of wickets, two for Dan Turner and two run-outs turned the tables back in Cuckfield’s favour, but it was not to be as Brunswick batted out the last overs to finish 220 for 9.