‘Another crucial 30 points’ as Rohit helps Roffey set up title deciding clash

Sussex League Premier Division: Cuckfield v Roffey (batting). Rohit Jagota. Pic Steve Robards SR1819777 SUS-180730-133442001
Sussex League Premier Division: Cuckfield v Roffey (batting). Rohit Jagota. Pic Steve Robards SR1819777 SUS-180730-133442001

It was business as usual for Roffey as they set up a title-clinching weekend by beating Brighton & Hove in somewhat comfortable fashion.

‘Another crucial 30 points’ was how captain Matt Davies described their 68-run success over their visitors on Saturday.

It was the Boars’ 11th Premier Division victory of the campaign and probably their most important to date, setting up a title showdown at Eastbourne on Saturday.

With two games left to play, Roffey lead the second-placed chasers by just 13 points – a win by 18 or more this weekend would see them lift the title for the fourth time in five years.

With that at stake they could have easily been hit by nerves against Brighton, but again it was a professional display.

Rohit Jagota was the top performance with bat and ball, top-scoring with 89 after Roffey won the toss and opted to bat.

The Boars hit 233 all out in 49.5 overs, before bowling their visitors out for 165 – where Jagota claimed figures of 3-13 in seven overs.

Davies said: “It was another crucial 30 points and it sets up this weekend nicely.

“It was fairly comfortable in the end, although there were times in there where we had to knuckle down a bit for a few overs with the bat.

“The pitch was quite tricky, so we just thought ‘let’s get to 225 and get our ten points’ and we backed ourselves with our bowling attack and that was pretty much how it panned out.”

Despite losing Ben Manenti (four) early on, Theo Rivers (40) got Roffey up and running with a 63-run second-wicket stand with Jibran Khan (30).

Jagota came in at four and set about hitting his 89-ball 89. Paul Harrison went for ten as the score ticked on to 104-4, before a fifth-wicket total of 79 between Jagota and Davies (29).

After the latter was out, the remaining wickets fell cheaply as Roffey closed on 233. Simon Hetherton profited late on to finish with figures of 4-29.

In reply, Jagota picked up three early dismissals to leave Brighton at 22-3. Early scoring Bryce Hounsome (37) was the sixth to go with the scoreboard on 61-5 – bowled by George Fleming (3-22).

Knocks from Felix Sheppard (19), Adam Mates (16) and Chris Mates (19) helped Brighton onto 133-8.

And there were late scores of 19 from Kieran Buck and 18 from Waheed Safi, before the visitors were eventually all out for 165.

Manenti claimed 2-55, while Luke Banard and Rivers also picked up a wicket each.

Davies added: “Rohit is just coming into his best form at the right time of the season.

“He hit 60-odd not out against Brentwood two Sundays ago and then 89 against Brighton on Saturday.

“He played very well and again was good with the ball as well, taking three wickets at the top of the order, which was crucial for us at the time.”