Barnard in seventh heaven as Roffey gain narrow home win

DM16117254a.jpg Cricket: Roffey (batting) v Hastings. Dan Smith. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160514-201806008

DM16117254a.jpg Cricket: Roffey (batting) v Hastings. Dan Smith. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-160514-201806008

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Spinner Luke Barnard took an incredible 7-78 to pave the way for Roffey’s narrow one-wicket against Hastings Priory.

The win continued the champions’ perfect start to the season following on from their three-wicket victory against Cuckfield last week.

Barnard combined with George Fleming who took 2-70 to dismiss the visitors for 203 in 56.5 overs.

Roffey captain Matt Davies praised Barnard for his seven-wicket haul.

He said: “Luke has bowled really well in all three matches we have played and it was good he got the rewards on Saturday, following on from George’s (Fleming) seven wickets last week.”

Hastings’ main scoring came from middle order batsmen Jake Woolley, whose 49 included six boundaries and a six, and Elliott Hooper (52).

Coming together at 75-4, they shared a stand of 91 for the fifth wicket, before Wooley was caught and bowled by Barnard.

Roffey got off to a slow start in their reply and at one stage were struggling at 20-3 after opening bowler John Morgan had Josh Fleming caught for seven and Theo Rivers trapped lbw for three.

Overseas player Liam Gibson came in at number three and steadied the ship, hitting 45 in an innings which included eight boundaries.

Gibson combined with Rohit Jagota (49) to share an 88-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Both of them were victims of Hastings’ bowler Jed O’Brien, who took 5-56.

Roffey’s middle order could not make an impression, other than Gibson and Jagota as Dan Smith was out leg before by Josh Hahnel for two.

Chris Webb and Davies were both victims of O’Brien’s spin, Webb being caught for 18 and Davies being caught leg before for 19.

Alex Collins was also out to Hahnel leg before for a duck, while Leigh Harrison made 12 before being bowled by O’Brien.

George Fleming (23 not out) was unbeaten at the end with Barnard (six not out) as they finally overtook their target in 52 overs for the loss of nine wickets.

Davies added: “They were 20-30 runs light of what we thought would be a winning score.

“When we came to bat their left-arm spinner (Jed O’Brien) bowled really well and Hastings played well as a team.

“It was nice to get the win - if we can win most of our home games and some of our away ones we can be in the mix for the title.”

Roffey will travel the short distance to Billingshurst for their local derby battle on Saturday.

Davies regards it as a difficult game and would like to see better form from his batsmen.

He said: “Billingshurst is a difficult place to go to. The pitch normally spins there.

“Hopefully we can pick up our batting like we did against Horsham in the cup.

“If we can translate our cup form into our league matches, hopefully we can make a statement.”

Roffey will then face Reigate at home on Sunday, May 29 in the next round of the National Knock-out Cup.

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