Steyning 'confident' of finding early season form after third loss in four

Steyning's Chris Barnett. Picture by Steve Robards
Steyning's Chris Barnett. Picture by Steve Robards

Captain Oli Collins has backed Steyning to rediscover their early season form after his side fell to their third Division 3 West defeat in four at home to Roffey 2s on Saturday.

Steyning were put into bat by the Boars and posted a competitive 245-5 off 45 overs as Chris Barnett accumulated a marvellous 90.

But Roffey hit back thanks to a brutal 63 off 33 balls from Sanchit Batra and a peerless 94 from skipper Mark Pavlovic as the Boars struck 246-8 off 44.3 overs to claim a two-wicket victory.

The defeat sees Steyning sink to fifth but the Memorial Grounds-outfit are only 15 points behind table-topping West Chiltington & Thakeham, who they visit next Saturday.

Collins said: “Just a bit of bad luck and not being ruthless at crucial times is costing us but we’re confident we can get back to some of the performances we’ve been churning out earlier in the year.

“We just need to piece together aspects from each of the last few games into a whole performance.

“After losing the toss, it was pleasing to set up a decent total with a great platform set from our openers who batted with maturity beyond their years.

“Unfortunately we were unable to capitalise on this position of strength and build momentum to post a score out of reach which we felt we should have done.

“With the ball we didn’t have our best day. The aggressive top-order batting from Roffey’s lads on such a good wicket was very tricky to deal with but we picked up some early wickets and halted the momentum.

“However, in the middle we bowled too many loose deliveries that got punished which didn’t allow us to create the pressure required to win the game.”

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A superb 121-run opening-wicket knock from Isaac Tidely (44) and Barnett got Steyning off to a strong start.

Tidely was taken by Lewis Shivnarain (1-42) before Barnett and Thomas Chalmers (21) added 55 for the second-wicket.

The loss of Barnett at 176-2 sparked a Steyning mini-collapse. Chalmers and captain Collins (12) were both removed in quick succession at 200-4.

Luke Chapman (22) and David Kennett (12*) put on 40-runs for the fifth-wicket before Chapman was bowled by Oli Rivers (1-46). Steyning added another five-runs to round off their allotted overs.

The hosts had early success with the ball as Chapman (1-41) claimed the wicket of Josh Kennedy (two), but the Boars’ Batra was bludgeoning his way to a big total.

Batra’s lightning-fast innings, which consisted of ten fours and a maximum, was ended by Andy Isaacs (2-33) at 77-2.

Two partnerships then pushed Roffey to within inches of victory. A 55-run third-wicket partnership from Joe Rivers (15) and Pavlovic moved the Boars to 127-3, before Pavlovic repeated the trick with Joe’s brother Oli (31) as they added 76 at five to see Roffey at 223-5.

A trio of Barnett (3-42) wickets curtailed Roffey’s chase to 242-8 but Conor Griffiths (14) and Shivnarain (three) took the visitors home as Roffey secured their second league win in a row.