“Off-field issues” scupper Sidley

Sidley captain John Haffenden
Sidley captain John Haffenden

John Haffenden believes “off-field issues” have contributed significantly to Sidley Cricket Club’s relegation.

Sidley’s fate was sealed on the penultimate weekend of the season when all five Sussex Cricket League Division Two matches were abandoned due to rain.

Their captain Haffenden said: “There’s been too many off-field issues to deal with this year - that’s my personal opinion of it all. To step up a league and have as many problems as we’ve had, plus the problem that we don’t train, it’s too many factors.

“You can’t be a Sussex League club doing that and it’s probably our downfall. I don’t think we’ve been outplayed by anyone this year, but you could probably look back on every game we’ve lost and for some reason it’s been our own fault.

“The first part of the season we were dropping seven or eight catches a game - that’s the fielding aspect of training. Poor shot selection is another aspect of training and we didn’t bowl very well. Training’s also a good time to speak about any issues from the week before.”

At the start of the season Haffenden felt that Sidley were capable of consolidating their promotion as champions of Division Three (East) last summer with a mid-table finish.

But from the moment Pulborough captain Rohit Jagota scored a double hundred against them in their first completed game, it’s been a tough campaign with back-to-wins against Glynde & Beddingham and Goring-by-Sea the sole highlights.

Although guaranteed to finish bottom, Sidley will be keen to finish on a high tomorrow (Saturday) with victory at home to Findon, one of six sides who could end up in the second relegation place. Peter King is unavailable.

See today’s Bexhill Observer for the full article.