Roffey reclaim top sport with Nomads win as skipper admits it’s toughest title quest yet

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ROFFEY CRICKET CLUB'HORSHAM''ROFFEY V BRIGHTON'BRIGHTON WERE BATTING''LIAM SMITH - GREEN HELMET'BRYCE HOUSME - OTHER BATSMAN'BOWLER FROM ROFFEY - 'LEE HARRISON - STRIPPED BOTTOM OF JUMPER SUS-171205-142113001

Roffey went top of the Premier Division after wrapping up a routine seven-wicket win against Preston Nomads – but captain Matt Davies says this is their toughest title quest yet.

The reigning champions are bidding for a fourth consecutive title, but are facing stiff competition from East Grinstead, Horsham and Cuckfield.

They lead the table by just one point from Grinstead, are eight ahead of Horsham and 25 clear of fourth-placed Cuckfield.

Roffey won the toss and elected to field on Saturday and Nomads failed to settle at all with the bat, mustering a disappointing 144 all out, thanks to a sensational bowling attack.

In response Davies’ side were clinical in chasing the run target, losing just three wickets on the way to victory after 28 overs.

Skipper Davies was delighted how his team played on what should have been a tough contest.

He said: “The match was a lot more comfortable than we thought it would be against a good side.

“This is the toughest competition we’ve had in five years. We’ve got confidence in ourselves but with nine games to go it would be silly to get ahead of ourselves.”

Nomads struggled from the outset in their innings as wickets started tumbling from the early stages.

Roffey bowler Leigh Harrison was a formidable force with the ball, taking out the opening three batsman for just 20 runs combined.

Nomad’s eighth order batsman Hugo Shephard (42) managed to salvage some runs out of the innings but changed little to the result.

Harrison ended with a very impressive five-wicket haul for the expense of just 38 runs. George Fleming (3-55) and Rohit Jagota (2-9) were also among the wickets.

Davies was full of praise for Harrison, a huge factor in his side’s victory.

He said: “Leigh Harrison was obviously our stand-out bowler, he was in great form this weekend.”

Nomads were bowled out for 144 in 48 overs, setting up a reachable run chase for Roffey.

Davies’ side wasted little time chasing down the total, building a score of 44-1 before the wicket of Theodore Rivers (14) fell.

Rohit Jagota had a very impressive innings amassing 45 runs from 51 balls, including seven boundaries, before be bowled out by Stephen Rigg.

Jibran Khan was also in form hitting a solid 37 runs not out to help Roffey comfortable get their target.

Ben Manenti (eight) was the only minor blip in otherwise faultless batting display, but captain Davies (35) got his team over the line in just 28 overs for a seven-wicket victory.

Owen Kernan, Stephen Rigg and Kashif Ibrahim shared the three wickets between them, making little difference to the result.

Roffey will look to continue their form this season in their next league game against out of sorts Bexhill.

Davies added: “On paper it looks like a easy game but that’s not how it works.

“We’ve taking it game by game and hopefully we’ll get the win against Bexhill.”