Champions Roffey knocked off the summit by Preston Nomads
Visits to Fulking have often been happy for Roffey CC, but not last Saturday, when the visitors were outplayed with bat, ball and in the field, and undone by outstanding performances from two Preston Nomads CC players.
Jake Hutson scored around 60 per cent of Nomads' demanding total, while Adam O’Brien took that percentage of the wickets. As a result Nomads now head the Premier Division with Roffey moving down a place.
Rueing losing the toss, Roffey skipper Matt Davies said: “We knew we had to start well with the ball, but unfortunately we didn’t and it was an uphill task from there – we weren’t consistent enough and our fielding wasn’t up to our normal standard.”
Wicketkeeper Hutson has played county 2nd XI cricket and dropping him off a skier early in his innings was a turning point.
Although Luke Barnard and Harnoop Kalsi toiled away for 33 overs, taking all six wickets between them, opener Hutson’s unbeaten 162 was a massive contribution, the next highest score being 37 from recent Sussex debutant 16-year-old Danial Ibrahim.
Chasing 278 to win from 52 overs, Roffey needed a decent platform, and they reached 48-1, thanks to Usman Khan’s 35 at his former club, but his departure heralded a slow decline, with only the normally quick scoring Davies getting into double figures – his 26 not out taking 108 balls in a vain attempt to stave off defeat, Adam O’Brien fulfilling his early promise with 6-24 from a miserly 18.1 overs.
Nine Roffey batsmen could only manage 25 runs between them as the team subsided to 94 all out at just over two runs an over.
A full scorecard from the game can be found here.
Davies told the County Times: “With the bat, we never got going, which ended our chances of winning the game, and we were unable to apply ourselves well enough to bat for the draw. Credit to Nomads – they played very well and Hutson’s knock was superb.
"Although we’re second, we feel as though we’ve not been anywhere near our best so far this season, so we just have to keep persevering and training hard.”
This Saturday, eager to return to winning ways for their seventh league game of the season, Roffey return home to take on third-placed Three Bridges CC, who beat Eastbourne CC last week after restricting them to 193-8, and are breathing down Roffey’s neck, just three points adrift
Meanwhile, for Roffey CC 2nd XI last Saturday, Chris Webb notched up another century, putting on an opening partnership of 180 with Alex Southon (69), but it wasn’t enough to stave off defeat to Billingshurst CC, for whom skipper Mike Burroughs top-scored with 67, taking his side to their first win