Rivers century helps Roffey to big win against title rivals Brighton & Hove
Theo Rivers smashed a century as Roffey opened up a 57-point lead at the top of the Premier Division on Saturday.
In the end they eased to a 109-run victory away to a Brighton & Hove side that started the day in second place and provided a stiffer test.
It was another confident display from the Boars, who are bidding to claim the title again having missed out on a fourth consecutive crown last year.
They have started the season in scintillating form with six dominant victories and the only blot being one abandonment due to the weather.
Saturday was a similar story in terms of dominance as Brighton won the toss and asked Roffey to bat. Opener Rivers set about making a 155-ball 121 with 14 fours and one six in their total of 254-8.
Captain Matt Davies also chipped in with 51 batting seventh, before they bowled their hosts out for 145 in 37.5 overs. Davies said: “Batting wise, it was the first time we had been really tested this year really.
“At 125-5, when we were at that stage it looked like it would be tough to put up a really decent total.
“But there were a few contributions down the order which was nice as that was the first time we have been tested in that department and it was good to do well.
“We have kept trying to make sure we are ready, the batsmen are all having a net twice a week at training and putting the practice in, so they are ready and when called upon they are capable.”
It was a real show from Rivers, who led the Roffey innings. He and Rohit Jagota put on 36 for the first wicket, before the latter was caught behind off the bowling of Chris Mates (1-25) for 15.
While Rivers remained, wickets continued to fall as Sussex’s Luke Wells claimed 3-50 to reduce their opponents to 126-5. A key stand of 91 between Rivers and Davies then boosted them to 217-6, before Rivers was finally caught behind off Simon Hetherton (2-61). Paul Harrison (17) also added some late runs to help Roffey to a commanding total of 254.
Despite a star-studded line-up including Wells (23), Phil Salt (26) and Matt Machan (37) in their top four, Roffey had dismissed them all with the score on 107-5.
Ben Manenti (4-50), Leigh Harrison (1-33) and Alex Collins (2-27) had success with the ball, before a good spell from Rivers (3-8) dismissed the middle to lower order.
Just Christopher Atherton (15) and Adam Mates (21*) made double figures as Brighton managed just 145 all out in 37.5 overs.
Davies added: “There top five batmen were very strong. With Phil Salt, Wells, Machan and their overseas at five.
“It was a very top-heavy batting line-up, so we knew if we could make early inroads we would have a chance of bowling them up.
“Ben bowled well and Collo (Alex Collins) got the crucial wicket of Phil Salt so it was another good weekend for him and Theo came on at the end and picked up some wickets.
“In the end it looks quite convincing, but there were points with the bat when I thought where I thought we would have to work very hard for the win. With their top four or five as well it could have been very difficult, but we always want a challenge so it was nice.”