Roffey beaten by the weather for the second week running

Eager to close the gap on the Premier Division league leaders, Roffey CC were hoping to emulate June’s eight-wicket home win against last Saturday’s host Hastings & St Leonards Priory CC, while Hastings, coming into the match 45 points adrift at the foot of the table, were in dire need of wins themselves if they are avoid another descent into Division 2.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 2:14 pm
Harnoop Kalsi returned bowling figures of 4-62 in Roffey CC's abandoned game at Hastings & St Leonards Priory CC. Picture by Owen Menzies-White

But, at the end of Roffey’s longest away journey, to East Sussex’s Horntye Sports Complex, rain once again intervened, causing an abandonment – with the game tantalisingly poised.

In unsettled weather the trick is to win the toss and insert the opposition, which Roffey did, Leigh Harrison soon bowling both openers, and at 7-2 the hosts were struggling.

Jake Woolley then set about a rebuilding job, his 37 including six boundaries, but only wicketkeeper Harry Scowen could make any subsequent impact with an innings-changing 66, enabling Hastings to reach the comparative respectability of a rain interrupted 147-9 from 44 overs, after being 84-7.

Harnoop Kalsi and Luke Barnard had bowled 30 overs in tandem – Harnoop returning 4-62 and Barnard 2-40.

In reply, between the showers, Roffey reached 27 without loss before the game was inevitably called off.

A scorecard from the game can be found here.

Harnoop told the County Times: “The wicket was slow and not turning too much, so I was pleased to get some wickets.

"We had them in trouble, but when we came back on after heavy rain they just belted it to set us a chase, and we were hoping to improve our position by being the only side to finish, but it was not to be.”

If there was any consolation, no other Premier Division game was completed, so every side was awarded 10 points.

The East Grinstead CC v Brighton & Hove CC and Three Bridges CC v Preston Nomads CC matches were abandoned without a ball bowled, while the game at the Saffrons was reduced to a T20 contest, unlucky hosts Eastbourne CC posting 149-8 and then having Cuckfield CC 44-8, requiring another 106 off six overs when further play was ruled out.

The final game saw Middleton CC set Haywards Heath CC a 258 target from 52 overs and Heath set off well in pursuit, getting to 88-0 from 13.2 before the contest was terminated

As a result, Preston Nomads remain top – with 291 points, 35 ahead of East Grinstead. Three Bridges (251) are third and Roffey fourth with 238.

At the bottom of the table Hastings appear doomed on 147 points, with a tightly bunched group above them seeking to avoid the drop – Cuckfield, (184) seventh, hovering above Middleton (also 184), while Haywards Heath are in the penultimate berth with 182.

On Saturday Roffey return home for the penultimate time this season, to take on current table topper Preston Nomads.

Now in the thick of the business end of the season, Roffey’s last three matches are against high-flying Three Bridges (August 21 – away), followed by struggling league newcomer – Haywards Heath (also away), before entertaining Brighton & Hove on Saturday, September 5 – the final day of the season.