Bowlers haul Roffey firmly into title race

Cricket Lindfield v Roffey 30-04-16. George Flemming (roffey). Pic Steve Robards SR1612359 SUS-160205-131315001

Cricket Lindfield v Roffey 30-04-16. George Flemming (roffey). Pic Steve Robards SR1612359 SUS-160205-131315001

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Roffey skipper Matt Davies praised his bowlers as they hauled themselves firmly back in the Premier Division title race at the halfway stage of the season.

The reigning champions moved to within 26 points of leaders Horsham with an eight-wicket win at home to Brighton & Hove.

They continue to trail second-placed Cuckfield by nine points, with a game in hand on both sides above them, ahead of a showdown at Roffey this weekend.

George Fleming led the way with the ball on Saturday as he claimed 5-43 in 22 overs after Brighton won the toss and elected to bat.

He was ably assisted by Rohit Jagota (3-10) and Luke Barnard (2-12) as the visitors were bowled out for 94 in the 47th over.

After opening trio Henry Hunt (16), Paul Hardwick (18) and Chris Grammer (15) helped them to 60-5, only Chris Mates and Gabriel Martin made double figures for Brighton, both scoring ten.

In reply, it was routine for Roffey’s batsmen. Liam Gibson batted throughout the innings with an unbeaten 40.

He was backed up by Theo Rivers, who made 42, before being stumped off the bowling of Martin (1-17), leaving the opening partnership on 73.

Usman Khan was quickly run out for a duck, but Jagota (six) and overseas Gibson saw them home for 30 points with 96-2.

Davies said: “Other results went quite well for us. Obviously we are at the halfway stage of the season now, it would have been nice to have played the Sussex Academy to know exactly where we stand.

“But we are happy with where we are. As long as we are in the title race, that is where we wanted to be.

“It was a really pleasing win. We bowled really, really well. George bowled really well and did so pretty much for the whole day from one end. He bowled his length very well and got a couple of outstanding dismissals.

“Rohit complemented him and did his usual thing of breaking up partnerships and took three wickets.

“We got onto their lower to middle order early on and Barney (Barnard) picked up a good two-fer. Liam then batted really well as did Rohit and the opening partnership virtually won the game.”

On this Saturday’s fixture, Davies added: “It’s a massive game. It’s second against third and although all games are going to be big now, this is a big one to start the second half of the season against second place.

“It’s nice to be at home and we hope to continue our good form there.”

Dan Smith has left the club to join Division 2 side Ifield.

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