Roffey were delighted to return to winning ways with a strong home success against Preston Nomads, opener Theo Rivers masterminding the victory with an unbeaten 111.
Nomads won the toss, and, electing to bat, got off to a steady start – until the introduction of Jas Bassan saw him dismiss both openers. And when Jamie Atkins accounted for wicketkeeper Rehan Afridi for a third ball duck, the visitors were 50-3.
Ollie Gatting from the esteemed cricket and football dynasty set about repairs with Aaron Phillips, yet, while seven batsmen reached double figures, Phillips and Ammad Khan finishing with forties and Liam O’Brien 35, nobody went on to post a telling score, Roffey taking regular wickets.
Bassan ended with 3-57, and the reliable George Fleming 2-36, Nomads posting 237-7 from 58 overs.
Responding, Roffey created an ideal platform with an 142 run opening partnership, Rohit Jagota’s contribution being 71 at a shade over a run a ball, including ten boundaries.
Jibran Khan’s run out gave way to a whirlwind cameo from Usman Khan. Meanwhile, Rivers made sure there were no further alarms, seeing Roffey across the line with skipper Matt Davies, Nomads capturing just three wickets as Roffey eased home with 15 balls to spare.
Captain Matt Davies told the County Times: “This was a perfect situation for Theo – our blueprint was for him to bat through with the others scoring quickly around him, and that’s exactly what happened.
"We were just one win away from the confidence boost needed when we visit East Grinstead on Saturday - all four of our adult sides won this week.”
MoM Rivers said: “This was a great, hard-fought win for us. The wicket had something in it for the bowlers, so I had to be patient making sure I kept out some good balls early on, so that I could cash in on the bad ones later. It’s always good to score a ton – especially when it results in a Roffey win!”
Bognor v Horsham
Horsham posted a demanding score courtesy of a century from Sussex’s Tom Haines and 51 from a seasonal debutant, the tall left-hander Elliot Cloy, but finished a whisker short of victory at The Regis Oval.
Winning the toss, Bognor inserted Horsham, who, despite being without skipper Nick Oxley, Tom Johnson, Sam Bell and Michael Thornely, had four professionals in their line up: captain for the day Will Beer, Tom Haines, and Tom Clark – all of whom had come through the ranks at Cricketfield Road – and Kiwi overseas Ben Lister.
After Anish Padalkar had made 39, it was Sussex’s prolific Haines who led the way with 104, initially accompanied by Cloy, then sharing useful partnerships with Clark (40) and Beer, who declared with Horsham on 285-6.
Horsham made early inroads,Lister dismissing opposition skipper Ryan Maskell first ball and then fellow opener Mike Harris.
Taylor Jaycocks launched a rescue plan initially with former Horsham player Joe Ashmore then with Nick Stobart, both of whom made 40s.
With the hosts – who had rattled up 250-1 to win the week before – never quite up with the rate, it became a question of whether Horsham could bowl them out. And, at 205-3 with Jaycocks firmly entrenched that was unlikely – until Clark struck, bowling Stobart, running out Nicholas Ballamy, catching Jaycocks off Ben Williams, then trapping Josh Seward LBW.
When Lister grabbed another scalp, Bognor were 227-8.
Bognor clung on while both sides’ nerves jangled, and when Lister took another wicket, it was off the last ball, leaving Bognor, nine down and still 52 adrift, relieved to draw.
Horsham Cricket Manager Ben Williams said: “It was great to have both Toms – Haines and Clark – back, a real bonus and an absolute pleasure to have them playing for us, wanting to be part of our squad and enjoying some club cricket.
"Bognor are a good side and told us they want to play against the best that the league has to offer. Haines anchored the innings, with Elliot Cloy really impressing before Clark and Beer accelerated to set a challenging total. Then Ben Lister bowled beautifully. We’d have liked to win, of course, but it was a cracking game of cricket.”
Horsham welcome struggling Eastbourne to Cricketfield Road on Saturday.
BERTIE JOEL TROPHY
Roffey chased down a stiff target in the Club Cricket Conference Inter-League competition - the Conference Cup for the Bertie Joel Trophy – at Three Bridges, thanks to a superb rearguard batting recovery from 16-year-old Lewis Shivnarain and all-rounder Jas Bassan.
Roffey inserted Bridges, and after Alex Collins and Harnoop Kalsi had dismissed the openers, Conor Golding and skipper Joe Walker put on 147, Walker departing for 77. Courtesy of 100 from Golding and 32 from Ben Caidan, Bridges accelerated to 261-3 from their 45 overs.
Replying, wicketkeeper Ben Garrett made 36, and after Archit Patel had taken three wickets, Shivnarain (88) and Bassan (55) accumulated 121 for the sixth wicket, before Osman Zahir accounted for Bassan, for 55. Theo Rivers and Davies came in at the business end and guided Roffey home, as they had done the day before, with three balls to spare.