Coach Fearnely ‘optimistic’ about Roffey’s battle for top spot

Roffey (batting) v Cuckfield. Theo Rivers. Pic Steve Robards SR1718527 SUS-170813-121746001
Roffey (batting) v Cuckfield. Theo Rivers. Pic Steve Robards SR1718527 SUS-170813-121746001

Roffey coach Simon Fearnley believes they are in a good position to catch Premier Division leaders East Grinstead and feels that the final fixtures could be tricky for their opponents.

The reigning champions kept up the pressure on the leaders by recording a 63-run victory at home against Cuckfield on Saturday.

Roffey (batting) v Cuckfield. Rohit Jagota. Pic Steve Robards SR1718512 SUS-170813-121639001

Roffey (batting) v Cuckfield. Rohit Jagota. Pic Steve Robards SR1718512 SUS-170813-121639001

With East Grinstead easing to a nine-wicket success over Preston Nomads it’s as you were in the title race. With three games left to play, Roffey trail the table-toppers by 19 points.

Fearnely said: “I quite like us being second. Sometimes there’s a danger when you’re top that you can be drawn in to playing negative cricket.

“If you’re in second there will be times where you look to play more attacking cricket. The team like that.”

“If you had to pick two sides from the division that you would want to play East Grinstead in the final two games, it’d definitely be Horsham and Cuckfield.

Roffey (batting) v Cuckfield. Jeet Raval. Pic Steve Robards SR1718493 SUS-170813-121615001

Roffey (batting) v Cuckfield. Jeet Raval. Pic Steve Robards SR1718493 SUS-170813-121615001

“They have the potential to create a win against them so we’re optimistic.”

After losing the toss on Saturday, Roffey were put in to bat and set about amassing a big total.

Openers Theo Rivers and Rohit Jagota put up an opening stand of 42 before the former was removed for 17. As the middle order failed to kick on, Jagota anchored the innings. His knock of 90 (12 boundaries) saw Roffey in a commanding position at 173-5.

Usman Khan added 36, but the Boars lost three wickets for just eight runs as they went from 218-6 to 226-9.

Josh Fleming hit a quickfire 36 off 35 balls before his wicket fell, leaving the home side all out for 237.

In reply, Roffey got off to a dream start taking opener Joe Ludlow for a duck. A 71-run partnership between New Zealand international Jeet Raval and Dominic Sear came to end as Manenti (2-25) trapped Raval lbw for 56.

The loss of Raval halted Cuckfield’s progress as wickets fell regularly, losing three wickets for 18 runs.

Ben Candlefield (34) and Billy Collinson (30) offered some resistance but Abdul Khan (4-35) mopped up the final three wickets for Roffey, as Cuckfield ended on 174.

Fearnely said: “It was a good win for a number of reasons. We got beaten by Cuckfield earlier in the season, and that’s been our only defeat.

“It was pleasing that, on a good wicket for seamers, we compiled an above average score having been put in.

“We bowled beautifully to Cuckfield and all aspects of our play was disciplined and at a high standard.”

Roffey travel to Hastings & St Leonards Priory on Saturday.