Fleming brothers see Roffey home to go clear at the top

DM16133435a.jpg Cricket: Roffey Fielding v Sussex Development X1. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-160808-111005008
DM16133435a.jpg Cricket: Roffey Fielding v Sussex Development X1. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-160808-111005008

Roffey maintained their title hopes when they gained a two-wicket victory against the Sussex Cricket Board Development XI on Sunday.

Rohit Jagota was their topscorer with both bat and ball as they gained a maximum 30 points win which opened up a 19-point lead at the top of the table over nearest rivals Cuckfield.

DM16133463a.jpg Cricket: Roffey (fielding) v Sussex Development X1. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-160808-111108008

DM16133463a.jpg Cricket: Roffey (fielding) v Sussex Development X1. Photo by Derek Martin. SUS-160808-111108008

The result helped to make up for a frustrating draw on Saturday against Preston Nomads.

During that game their opponents ended up blocking out the last few balls to force a draw and a disappointing return of just eight points when a win was hoped for.

Against the Sussex Development XI, Jagota took 5-45 and hit 51 to pave the way for Roffey’s success.

He combined with Luke Barnard (3-80) to bowl 38 out of the 54 overs and helped restrict the Sussex Development XI to 179 all out.

Opening bowler Leigh Harrison took 1-16 and at the other end George Fleming claimed 1-30.

Sussex topscorers were Thomas Haines and Delray Rawlings, who both made 36 and Carl Hopkinson added 31 at the end of the innings, while Tom Clark contributed 27 at the start.

Having won the toss and elected to bowl first, Roffey skipper Matt Davies was delighted with his side’s performance in the field.

He praised: “We bowled and fielded very well. All the bowlers bowled really well.

“At 60-1 they were looking good but then Rohit and Barny (Barnard) got some wickets and it changed the game.

“Batting-wise we were cruising at 121-3, then we lost a few wickets in a cluster, then needed 40 wo win.

“Then Josh and George Fleming got us over the line.

“So it was really pleasing to get the win which gets us top of the league.”

Roffey’s reply got off to a decent start with the opening partnership of Liam Gibson (11) and Theo Rivers (23) putting on 30 for the first wicket.

Wickets then fell regularly from 49-1 as the Development XI’s opening bowler Brad Evans took 5-43 off 14 overs.

The score increased from 58-3 to 128-4 thanks to a valuable 70-run partnership by Alex Southon (34) and Jagota.

However at 141, Roffey suffered a mini-collapse losing four wickets for just one run.

The Fleming brothers stepped up to the plate just when it was needed and forged an unbroken ninth wicket stand of 40.

They hit the winning runs, with number eight batsman George finishing unbeaten on 14 and former captain and opening batsman Josh, who was batting unusually low in the order at number ten, unbeaten on 24 not out.

Davies was keen to keep the talented young opponents at bay during their innings as the pitch was likely to wear as the game went on, making it difficult to make a massive score later in the day.

He revealed: “It was the second day we had used the pitch and it was going to get worse and worse, so we knew we needed to keep them to 180-190.

“We didn’t want to chase 200, so to keep them to 179 was really pleasing.”