Champions - All-conquering Roffey lift fifth Premier Division title in six years

Roffey's Rohit Jagota faces Preston Nomads' Dominic Shepheard. All pictures by Steve Robards
Roffey's Rohit Jagota faces Preston Nomads' Dominic Shepheard. All pictures by Steve Robards

Roffey secured their fifth Premier Division crown in six years after a 86-run home win over Preston Nomads on Saturday.

Things didn’t start well for Nomads. The visitors were forced to play the game with ten men as William Wright was injured in the warm up.

Roffey skipper Matt Davies scored 64 against Nomads

Roffey skipper Matt Davies scored 64 against Nomads

Electing to bat after winning the toss, the Boars were blasted to 249-5 thanks to lightning quick totals from Rohit Jagota (113* off 86 balls) and captain Matt Davies (64 off 57).

In reply Nomads got off to a strong start but consistent and deadly bowling, yet again, from Ben Manenti (3-28) and George Fleming (3-20) bowled the away side out for 163 in 29.5 overs.

This victory, coupled with second-placed Brighton & Hove falling to a seven-wicket home defeat against East Grinstead, opened up an 85 point gap at the top with two games to go to confirm Roffey as champions once more.

Boars skipper Davies said: “It was a really good batting performance on a difficult wicket. I thought Rohit’s innings was superb and it was nice for him to be able to get to three figures.

“We bowled well enough to take wickets at regular intervals and that proved crucial in defending our total.”

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The hosts faltered somewhat in the embryonic stages of their innings. The Roffey top-order started well but failed to kick on.

Theo Rivers, who hit 92 at Eastbourne last week, was trapped lbw for eight with the score at 19-1.

Manenti (25) and Jibran Khan (ten) pushed to 49-1 but two quick wickets from Nomads’ Dominic Shepheard (2-34) pegged the hosts back to 66-3.

Mike Norris (three) was next to fall as the Boars staggered to 79-4. This brought the Roffey captain to the crease.

Together with the deadly Jagota, the pair put on a massive 159 run partnership at five to take the game away from Nomads.

Davies’ quickfire knock was ended by Nicholas Beck (1-52) with the score at 238-5. It was left to Jagota, who hit 12 fours and five maximums, and Fleming (one) to see out the rest of the innings.

Nomads openers Nathan Poole (12) and Usman Khan (20) got the reply off to a solid start, putting on 43 for the first wicket, but the Roffey attack hit back.

Ferocious bowling from James Pearce (2-35), Manenti and Luke Barnard (1-47) tore through the visitors top-order, reducing them from 43-0 to 89-5.

Harrison Ward (41) dug deep and provided good resistance for Nomads but he too fell to Manenti, the score now at 114-6.

Navin Patel (16) and Shepheard (26 off 16) combined to make 38 but the pair were removed in double quick time by Fleming to see Roffey one wicket away from winning the title.

And it was Fleming who had the honours of getting the title-party started as he bowled Beck for one to end Nomads innings and confirm the Boars as Premier Division champions.

The title-holders travel to fourth-placed Middleton on Saturday.