Roffey's 14-year-old match-winner 'has a bright future ahead of him'

Roffey's 14-year-old Sam Henderson hit 82* on debut at Mayfield on Saturday. Picture by Mark Dunford
Roffey's 14-year-old Sam Henderson hit 82* on debut at Mayfield on Saturday. Picture by Mark Dunford

Matt Davies hailed the performance of 14-year-old debutant Sam Henderson after the starlet lead Premier Division leaders Roffey to a one-wicket win at Mayfield on Saturday.

The hosts were put in by the Boars and were bowled out for 223 in 54.4 overs. Ben Fitchet smashed 95 in 82 balls while Roffey’s Rohit Jagota (3-48) and George Fleming (3-66) shared six-wickets.

Fine bowling from Mayfield’s Steven Harman (4-52) saw the Boars sink to 100-7, bringing Henderson to the crease.

The Sussex under-14s captain then smashed 82* in 89 balls to snatch victory for Roffey as they hit 224-9 in 51.5 overs.

Davies said: “Sam’s innings was incredible. For someone of his age to show such maturity at the crease and get us over the line displays the kind of talent and mentality that he possesses.

“The whole club was chuffed for him. He has a bright future ahead of him and playing at the best club in Sussex will help his development.

“It shows that we are continuing to produce good young cricketers, which has been key to our recent success.”

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Jagota snared two early wickets to reduce Mayfield to 19-2. The hosts lost Sussex’s Harry Finch (13) at 63-3 before Harrison Tagg (eight) fell 15-runs later.

A 63-run fifth-wicket stand from Fitchet and Callum Saker (seven) advanced Mayfield to 141-5 but the home side suffered a mini-collapse.

A ferocious spell from Fleming saw him remove Fitchet and then claim two more to see the score at 173-7.

David Hooper (26*) and Will Robertshaw (18 off eight) at 11 helped Mayfield to 223 before Ben Manenti (2-50) ended the innings.

The Boars reply saw Theo Rivers (five) go at 8-1. Manenti (11) and Jibran Khan (32 off 20) then succumbed to Harman in quick succession, with the score now 49-3.

James Allen (2-63) pegged the Boars back to 97-6 and three-runs later Fleming was run out by Finch.

This brought Henderson to the crease with Mike Norris (58) and the duo produced a vital 87-run stand to give Roffey a chance.

Norris couldn’t stick around as he was removed by Harman at 187-8. Alex Collins (five) also fell victim to Harman five-runs later.

But Henderson produced a nerveless knock beyond his years to steer the Boars home and maintain their unblemished record.

Roffey host Three Bridges in the league on Saturday before travelling to Bexley in the fifth round of the ECB National Club Championship on Sunday.