Roffey are favourites for derby clash, says Horsham skip

Roffey captain Josh Fleming is keenly aware of the threat Will Beer (below) poses if he plays
Roffey captain Josh Fleming is keenly aware of the threat Will Beer (below) poses if he plays

Horsham CC First XI captain Sam Attfield says neighbours Roffey are the favourites for this weekend’s eagerly anticipated local derby at Cricketfield Road.

Attfield’s side will be at home for the first meeting of the summer between the sides but Josh Fleming’s men are the form horse after making an unbeaten start.

Sussex County Cricket Club Second XI v Hampshire Second XI at The Saffrons Eastbourne May 27th 2014.'Sussex batting. Will Beer (18) SUS-140529-103050002

Sussex County Cricket Club Second XI v Hampshire Second XI at The Saffrons Eastbourne May 27th 2014.'Sussex batting. Will Beer (18) SUS-140529-103050002

Saturday’s convincing eight-wicket win against Bexhill made it five wins (one reduced to a T20) and one draw from Roffey’s opening six games.

Meanwhile Horsham were suffering another blip on the road down at Brighton, their second loss of the new season, and ahead of this Saturday’s fixture skipper Attfield said: “It’s obviously a big game and one I’d say right now they are favourites for.

“They’re right up there after making a strong start, they’re currently in pole position.

“But we’ve got good players and it’s been pretty even most times we’ve played so I’m expecting a close game.”

Last season’s meeting at Cricketfield Road had to be abandoned because of bad weather with Roffey on 92-3, chasing Horsham’s 251-3 first innings total. The early season derby at Roffey went Horsham’s way however with a convincing nine-wicket win.

In both those games Will Beer scored big for Horsham with knocks of 90 and 81 from 55 balls and Roffey skipper Fleming reckons their latest contest could well hinge on his availability from Sussex.

“They are at home and we are in form so either side can win it,” Fleming asserted. “It’s a big game, the next three games are pretty big for us because after them we’ll have played most of the top sides.

“We’re all looking forward to it and Horsham are a good side so it will be tough, a lot depends on whether Beero plays for them.

“He’s a top player and usually turns up against us. “Sussex have a T20 on Friday so it depends if they allow him but I know he’ll be desperate to play.”