‘There was only one side who wanted to win it’ - Roffey frustrated with East Grinstead draw

Sussex League Premier Division: Roffey v Horsham (batting).  Ben Manenti (bowling) is congratulated. Pic Steve Robards SR1520397 SUS-150824-114936001
Sussex League Premier Division: Roffey v Horsham (batting). Ben Manenti (bowling) is congratulated. Pic Steve Robards SR1520397 SUS-150824-114936001

Roffey skipper Matt Davies was left frustrated by the performance of champions East Grinstead after the two sides played out a draw.

The Boars still sit top of the Sussex Cricket Premier Division but are just nine points ahead of Brighton & Hove in second place.

Davies’ side, playing at home, won the toss and elected to bat and posted 299-4 declared off 54 overs as Ben Manenti (113) picked up his first century for the Boars.

In reply, East Grinstead made 203-5 off 56 overs thanks to a good knock from Darryl Rebbetts (78).

Davies was disappointed that his side couldn’t pick up the win and thought that the champions were far too negative in their approach to the game.

He said: “It was disappointing not to get the win but it was a flat wicket.

“There was only one side who really wanted to win the game and East Grinstead made it really difficult for us to do that.

“They’d made up their mind that they weren’t going to try to win the game and they just wanted to stop us winning the game.

“On a pitch like that, when a good side like Grinstead does that, it’s always going to be difficult for us to bowl them out.

“On certain occasions this year against other teams they’ve been in that position and haven’t looked to block out so it was very disappointing the way they chose to play this week but hey ho, that’s the way it goes.”

Roffey were imperious with the bat from the off, A 116-run first-wicket stand between Rivers (37) and Manenti put the Boars in a commanding position before a further 57-run second-wicket knock from Manenti and Jibran Khan (76) put the hosts at 173-2.

Rohit Jagota (24) was the next to fall to the prolific Brad Hatchett (4-87).

A 66-run fourth-wicket partnership between the Khans, Jibran and Usman (41), was ended by Hatchett before Usman Khan and skipper Davies (two*) saw out the rest of the innings.

The Boars started brightly with the ball as they removed East Grinstead’s openers early thanks to Jagota (2-29) and Manenti (3-70), restricting the champions to 50-2.

East Grinstead applied some pressure as the score moved to 162-3 thanks to measured and controlled displays from Rebbetts and wicketkeeper Leo Cammish (20).

Captain William Adkin (nine) was the last wicket to fall for the visitors as a resilient batting performance from Ollie Graham (54*) and Ian Sturmer (five*) secured the draw for East Grinstead.

Davies added: “I thought we batted well, certainly to get 299 was a really good effort.

“It was nice for Ben (Manenti) to get his first hundred for the club and Jib (Khan) batted well as well.

“It was a very flat deck and a fast outfield so we did bat well. We got 13 points from it so it was still an OK result for us. It keeps us top of the league so that is one positive to take from it.”

Up next for the Boars is a home league fixture against Preston Nomads this Saturday.