Club Cricket Conference

Monday, 21st May 2018

Roffey repeat their point against cross-town Horsham

By Charles Randall

7 October 2016

Roffey could be called the elite Horsham club for a third year when they retained the Sussex Premier League title in September, looking forward to their tour of Dubai in February as champions again.

Horsham CC have an eminent history. They could reflect on league successes since 1971, prominence in national competitions and a respected track record in hosting County Championship cricket. Yet the 'upstarts' across town cemented their place at the top of the Sussex club pack.

Painfully for fourth-placed Horsham, the destiny of the title was settled on the penultimate Saturday with their 10-wicket thrashing at Roffey. Seam partners Luke Barnard and George Fleming shared nine wickets as Horsham were hustled out for 121, and Roffey's opening pair Josh Fleming and Theodore Rivers knocked off the runs quickly so that even Michael Munday finished wicketless. The game at Horsham in June was rained off.

Munday, the former Somerset leg-spinner, took 62 wickets and again topped the league overall aggregate, though Barnard, with 51 wickets, and Fleming, 45 wickets, proved more effective for Roffey over the season. Nobody would have backed Matt Davies's Roffey side after the first match when they were shot out for 52 by the Sussex left-arm seamer Lewis Hatchett (6-28) and suffered an embarrassing home defeat to East Grinstead.

While the Roffey all-rounder Rohit Jagota enjoyed a magnificent season with the bat, hitting 808 league runs at 80.8, the Tasmania, Australia A and Cuckfield batsman Jordan Silk scored the most runs with an incredible aggregate of 902 at 69.3, including three centuries. Silk's form helped Cuckfield to the runners-up spot, while at the other end Worthing and Billingshurst went down to be replaced by Middleton and Anstey.

Bexhill enjoyed a good season, finishing third after an extraordinary day at home to Horsham in May when the captain Johnathan Haffenden was injured by a sightscreen before play even started. He became wedged under the sightscreen while setting up the match, and an ambulance had to be summoned. Will Edwards was drafted in from the third team to replace him.

Haffenden made a complete recovery, though his Bexhill team were well beaten on the day. Edwards reflected credit on the third team by making the second-top score of 20 in Bexhill's 93, replying Horsham's 276. Horsham had stumbled to 86-5 before that fine Barbados and Sussex fast-bowling prospect  Jofra Archer smashed 128 off 78 balls, including eight sixes.
In Division Two the Guernsey national side, under the name of Guernsey Sarnians, finished lower mid-table in a creditable debut season, playing only away games and having points adjusted mathematically to mimick a full programme. Five wickets by Max Ellis helped them crush Bognor Regis in their opening game, but they found the going tougher as the summer progressed, finishing with three wins, one draw, four defeats and two games rained off.