Middlesex star: We always believed we could win County Championship

PUBLISHED: 08:57 24 September 2016

Middlesex bowler Toby Roland-Jones celebrates taking the wicket of Yorkshire's Ryan Sidebottom to win the County Championship at Lord's

Middlesex bowler Toby Roland-Jones celebrates taking the wicket of Yorkshire's Ryan Sidebottom to win the County Championship at Lord's

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Middlesex hat-trick hero Toby Roland-Jones says the squad were always confident in their ability to become county champions this year.

Roland-Jones clinched Middlesex’s first title since 1993 by dismissing Azeem Rafiq, Andrew Hodd and Ryan Sidebottom with consecutive deliveries to wrap up a dramatic victory against Yorkshire at Lord’s.

Middlesex’s success was achieved despite drawing all of their first six County Championship fixtures – but the belief in the dressing room never diminished, according to Roland-Jones.

The England Lions seamer cited Middlesex’s first win of the season over Yorkshire – when they beat the defending champions by an innings and four runs at Scarborough in early July – as the key moment.

“I think early on we knew we were playing good cricket,” said Roland-Jones. “With a lot of the draws we were in, it was the weather or the lack of decent pitches holding us up.

“We knew, if we stuck at it, we’d find our feet and gain momentum and that’s the way it’s gone. Once we found that winning feeling, it was tough to grind out results.

“I’d say Scarborough was a big turning point – to be still batting on day four and turn that around away from home, then bowl them out in two and a bit sessions was a pretty special effort.

“It didn’t take that for us to start believing, but at some point you do have to pick up results. There was enough talk about it and we really had to start producing ways to win tough games.

“I think we always knew we had a special group and sensed that we had the capability of doing it but, after all the hard work, to wrap it up in this fashion was unbelievable.”

With both sides needing victory to overtake Somerset and lift the crown, Middlesex captain James Franklin and his Yorkshire counterpart Andrew Gale agreed that the visitors would be set a target of 240 from 40 overs.

Although Tim Bresnan’s knock of 55 from 48 balls gave Yorkshire hope of retaining their crown, they were bowled out for 178 with 4.4 overs left as Roland-Jones finished with figures of 6-54.

“Both teams were prepared to put their chances of coming second on the line, to finish the winner – and good on Yorkshire for agreeing to the deal,” added Roland-Jones.

“I think it was a really fair one and that showed in the way it ebbed and flowed. Tim Bresnan played a hell of a knock but they ran out of steam in the end.

“They weren’t back-to-back champions for no reason – we knew it was going to be tough. But if you had to pick a way to win the championship, this would be right up there. It’ll last long in the memory.”

Latest Kilburn & Brent Sports News


Hendon will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Bostik Premier Division as they make the trip to strugglers Needham Market this weekend.


St Panteleimon FC snatched a 1-0 victory against London United last weekend.


Boro head to title favourites Blues on Saturday


In an article from our ‘Year in Sport’ pullout, the other teams in the Six Nations have their chances previewed

Yesterday, 17:00

Dagenham & Redbridge forward Joe White is delighted to be given the chance to get some match fitness with his loan spell to Hendon.

Yesterday, 16:00

Attacker has 30 goals so far this season for Greens and has suitors in the EFL

Yesterday, 10:15

Midfielder departs Loftus Road after making just three first-team appearances, all from the bench

Yesterday, 10:00

Middlesex Senior Cup: Wealdstone 1 Hampton & Richmond 0


Brent Clinical Commissioning Group has announced changes to the community’s cardiology service.

If you have been looking for laser hair removal, beauty salon treatments, or skin care services you may be confused and overwhelmed with so much information out there and so many clinics and salons promising miraculous results.

Louise McGowan, who started as headmistress of Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College in September, speaks to education editor James Scott about life at the school.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Kilburn sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now