New challenge awaits for title-winning Roses

Roses CC are relishing the prospect of competing in a third new division in as many seasons.

The club has been on an upward spiral over the last couple of years, with the 2014 Bassetlaw Third Division title following hot on the heels of elevation from the fourth tier 12 months earlier.

Now, as the club reflects on their recent championship success, they are making preparations for what will undoubtedly be a hotly-contested 2015 Divsion Two season.

Club secretary Geoff Hopkinson said: “It’s been a really good year for the club.

“We came up to the third division in 2014 and to be honest we expected the standard to be higher than it was.

“We were pleasantly surprised and to win the league was fantastic.

“This year we will approach it exactly how we went into the start of this season.

“We’ll first and foremost look to avoid relegation.

“We’re up against some strong second teams next year.”

Roses won the third division title by amassing 324 points, 29 clear of local rivals Lea Park.

In the process, Roses won 13 of their 22 fixtures and tasted defeat on just two occasions.

Hopkinson, who has been involved with the club since 2002, says that the team’s close-knit feel is a factor in the promotions of the last two seasons.

He added: “We have five or six lads who all came through the juniors together.

“Now they are all in their early 20s - they’re in their pomp really as young cricketers.

“We’ve got lads who live away and come back at the weekend and we’re hoping that will be the case again next year.”

Last season saw skipper Andrew West notch 587 runs at an average of 48.02.

Richard Keightley scored 330 runs at an average of 25.38, while a further seven batsmen averaged in the high teens and made valuable contributions in various games.

On the bowling front, Richard Keightley took the honours with 34 wickets at 10.62, closely followed by Ashley Clay with 44 wickets at 11.20.

In the field, 81 catches were held, with West taking 14, Clay 12, Ben Smith and Tommy Gray 10 apiece.

Wicket-keeper John Tittley recorded 16 catches and 4 stumpings to his name.