Roffey provide ‘season-best show’ to skittle Horsham and remain top

Cricket:  Roffey v Horsham. Rohit Jagota. Pic Steve Robards SR1712732 SUS-170406-214252001
Cricket: Roffey v Horsham. Rohit Jagota. Pic Steve Robards SR1712732 SUS-170406-214252001
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Roffey captain Matt Davies saluted a season-best showing as they took the bragging rights with a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Horsham.

Many expected a somewhat closer Premier Division encounter with an improving Lions side undefeated since the opening day of the campaign.

Cricket:  Roffey v Horsham. Will Beer. Pic Steve Robards SR1712744 SUS-170406-214332001

Cricket: Roffey v Horsham. Will Beer. Pic Steve Robards SR1712744 SUS-170406-214332001

But reigning champions Roffey made light work of their local rivals as they skittled them out for 100 as Leigh Harrison claimed 4-23 with the ball.

The Boars then eased home with 102-2 inside 20 overs as Rohit Jagota led the way with an unbeaten 59.

The victory saw Roffey maintain their two-point lead in the table over East Grinstead, while the Lions dropped from third to sixth – skipper captain Michael Thornely labelling their efforts as ‘not good enough’.

Davies said: “It was a lot easier than we expected, but also probably our best performance of the season – one we have been building up to. We always know when we are close to our best, we do not fear anyone.

Cricket:  Roffey v Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1712767 SUS-170406-214354001

Cricket: Roffey v Horsham. Pic Steve Robards SR1712767 SUS-170406-214354001

“I think we bowled and fielded well throughout the whole innings. We had them at 89-3 and that was after maybe 25 overs so it never looked like they would get away from us – we were always in the driving seat.

“Stuart Whittingham had to come off the field with a thigh injury in their innings and our groundsman came on as a sub fielder which was quite amusing.

“Leigh Harrison came on and bowled really well in the middle order, with his best performance of the season. The spinners and George bowled consistently as ever, so I was really pleased.

“It was not a difficult total to chase and the only way they could come back into it was with three or four early wickets and we were always confident.”

Horsham had posted 41 when both openers were dismissed, Matt Green’s 20 their third highest score of the day.

Will Beer set about a 47-ball 28 and with Thornely (21) the pair put on 45 for the third wicket, but the Sussex bowler was out before drinks.

After that it was a major collapse from the visitors as only nine runs were added by the last seven batsmen as they posted 100 in 35 overs.

Ben Manenti (2-4) and Luke Barnard (2-0) cleared up the tail after earlier wickets from Harrison, George Fleming and Jagota.

In reply, John Aston (1-25) gave Horsham faint hope by dismissing Theo Rivers (two) and while Jibran Khan (22) fell victim to Michael Munday with the score on 71, Jagota and Usman Khan (14*) guided Roffey to the 30 points.

Thornely felt his side did not do themselves justice after an impressive start to the season.

He said: “It wasn’t how we’ve been playing over the past few weeks. We didn’t assess the conditions quick enough and we thought we needed to score more than we needed to.

“Unfortunately we lost the toss as well which didn’t help. The wicket got better when they came to bat.

“Roffey are very good at bowling at their ground, and they made it very difficult for us and put us under a lot of pressure. We didn’t adapt quick enough, and we ended up losing our last eight wickets for 11 runs. It just wasn’t good enough.

“Credit to Roffey, they put us under a lot of pressure. They bowled very well up top and didn’t give us much to hit.

“The ball before drinks, Beer got out, then after drinks it didn’t get any better. We were then never going to be able to defend 100 runs. It was never going to be enough.”