Roffey hope for Cambridge graduation

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Roffey, who are mid-table in the Sussex Premier League, take on Cambridge Granta tomorrow for a spot in the quarter-finals

Roffey batsman Simon Shivnarain insists being labelled 'underdogs' has brought the best out of his side in this year's ECB National Club Championship.

The Sussex Premier League outfit have surprised a handful of illustrious opponents to reach the last-16 for the first time in their history.

Shivnarain admits his side have traded on their lowly reputation and hopes tomorrow's visitors Cambridge Granta will be the latest team to underestimate them.

"We've loved the banter," Shivnarain told "We've been called 'village this' and 'village that', but we love it. Teams have expected to beat us, like Teddington and Blackheath, but we have surprised them.

"The teams we have beaten always give us good feedback afterwards and tell us we bat, bowl and field well."

Standing in Roffey's way of the place in the quarter-finals are Cambridge Granta, who are mid-table in the East Anglian Premier League.

"They will be a good side," admitted Shivnarain. "They are a premier league side but so are every team we have beaten so far in this competition. We shouldn't fear them.

"We are all buzzing about this Sunday. This is the biggest game in the club's history. To get to the national stage of this competition was good enough, but to have reached the last-16 is brilliant.

"Some of the older guys at the club think this is the best side Roffey have ever produced.

Simon Shivnarain

Simon Shivnarain, showing an admirable straight bat, says Sunday's last-16 clash is "the biggest in the club's history"

"I love that we are the only club in Sussex still left too. We are representing the county."

At 35, Shivnarain is the grandfather of the side. Some of his team-mates were barely out of nappies when he started playing for Roffey 15 years ago.

However, he regards the side's youthful exuberance and naivety as two of the main reasons for Roffey having thrived this season.

"Every round in this competition is just another game for them," he said, before praising captain Mike Norris.

"He's been brilliant. Tactically he is very astute for such a young bloke. He has a knack of doing things at the right time, like changing the bowling or moving the field.

"Being captain hasn't affected his batting either. He scored a hundred in our last league match."