Ashes recognition for cock-a-hoop Rollers

TRENT BRIDGE STARS -- the Rolls-Royce Leisure Kwik Cricket juniors with coach and Ashes nets bowler Matt Roberts (back)

TRENT BRIDGE STARS -- the Rolls-Royce Leisure Kwik Cricket juniors with coach and Ashes nets bowler Matt Roberts (back)

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A week to remember for Hucknall’s highest-ranked cricket club has ended with Ashes recognition.

Rolls-Royce Leisure returned to the top of the Notts Premier League with a superb 90-run victory over defending champions Cuckney.

And now one of their young players, 18-year-old Matt Roberts, has been chosen to bowl in the nets with England ahead of the First Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge, which starts this week.

“Matt is a good, up-and-coming off-spinner – and there aren’t many of them about,” said Rolls’s manager, ex-Notts CCC captain John Birch.

“He helped out in the nets before the one-day international against New Zealand at Trent Bridge earlier this month. Now he has been invited again.”

Roberts, the son of Rolls secretary and treasurer, Sue and Steve Roberts, is also a fully-qualified coach who plays a major role with the club’s four new youth teams – at Kwik Cricket, under-11, under-13 and under-15 levels.

Eight of the Rolls kids also enjoyed their moment in the Trent Bridge limelight at the New Zealand international when giving a Kwik Cricket exhibition during the interval. Two of them were mascots too.

The youngsters were recruited from the Chance To Shine initiative whereby clubs promote cricket in local schools.

Roberts and Rolls have introduced Chance To Shine to four primary schools in Hucknall this year – Annie Holgate, Beardall Street, Edgewood and Hillside.

Rolls made 217 against Cuckney, who were then bowled out for 127. Tom Lungley hit 58 with the bat before both Adam Shepherd and Notts CCC veteran Ben Phillips bagged four wickets.