Roffey thrash Eastbourne to go third

Roffey CC were relieved to be playing again after sufficient abandonments - and heavy rain earlier in the week drenching the Crawley Road ground - but the game was over soon after 3pm, Eastbourne CC, taking no points from the Premier Division encounter, humbled by an excellent bowling performance.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 1:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 1:20 pm
Roffey CC's Lee Harrison is congratulated on his catch off Eastbourne CC's Alex Pollard. Picture by Jon Rigby

The 30 point win moved Roffey up one spot to third on 209, just a single point behind second in the table East Grinstead CC, who lost to leaders Preston Nomads CC (243).

While, in the relegation zone, after drawing with Cuckfield CC, Haywards Heath CC occupy the penultimate berth on 132, ten points clear of Hastings & St Leonards Priory CC, who set Middleton CC 264, only to lose at home by seven wickets.

Winning the toss and electing to bat, Eastbourne reached 45-2 after George Fleming had made an early breakthrough for the third match running.

At the other end, before snaffling four catches, Leigh Harrison was bowling frugally, taking 1-2 from his first six overs.

Visiting skipper Jacob Smith made a patient 36, but, once he was out, trapped lbw by Harnoop Kalsi, Eastbourne had no answer to the Roffey spinners, Kalsi taking two more wickets and Luke Barnard four, the pair finishing with 7-32 between them, sharing 15.4 overs as the seasiders crashed to 81 all out.

Replying, Roffey also lost an early wicket, but with Theo Rivers anchoring the innings securely, Sam Henderson, promoted up the order, was not obliged to play a rescue role this time.

With the freedom to enjoy himself, he hit 11 fours for Roffey in his unbeaten 51 from just 36 deliveries, blazing his side home by nine wickets with 59.1 overs still available, fully avenging Roffey’s close-fought defeat at the Saffrons earlier in the season.

A full scorecard from the game can be found here.

Keen to maintain the momentum of their vintage crushing of Eastbourne - on Saturday Roffey travel to Saint Hill Road in another upper table clash, against East Grinstead.

Harrison told the County Times: “This was a very good win. It was nice to get in a nice rhythm early with the ball and to build pressure from both ends with George (Fleming) and to get them three down with not too many on the board.

"As for the catches, it was just one of those days when Luke (Barnard) was always keeping us in the game, and it felt like they could nick every ball he bowled, so it was nice for a few to go to hand!”

And, 16-year-old Henderson – who first came to prominence with a golden over at Roffey as a nine year old, taking five wickets in five consecutive balls in his age group side – added: “It was great having the chance to bat higher up and to top it off with a 50.

"There was nothing wrong with the wicket, it was just a bit slow, that’s all. It was a great win and puts us in good stead with seven games to go.”