Sussex League cricket: Roffey lead but it’s tight at top

Just 13 points separate the top three in the Sussex Premier League as the season moves towards an exciting conclusion.

Sean Heather's Middleton lost to Eastbourne / Picture by Louise Adams
Sean Heather's Middleton lost to Eastbourne / Picture by Louise Adams

Roffey head the table with 291 points after a home win over Cuckfield on a day when teams were delighted and relieved to play, with heavy rain having hit most of the county on Friday.

The hosts were not at their best when batting, totalling 210 with Josh Fleming (42) top scorer. Usman Khan weighed in with 30 and Matthew Donegan 29 as Nick Patterson took five for 90 for the visitors.

In the reply George Fleming took four for 17 and Leigh Johnson four for 46 as a solid bowling and fielding display left Cuckfield all out for 158. But for Roston Chase’s 79, it would have been much worse for them.

East Grinstead are hot on Roffey’s heels after beating Preston Nomads, who are pushed down to third place as a result.

An unbeaten 70 from Leo Cammish carried EG to 220 all out with Carl Simon (3-64) the pick of the Nomads bowlers.

Nomads collpased to 67 for five in reply but 58 by that man Simon gave them hope - until they ended all out for 200. Ian Sturmer (4-42) and Bradley Hatchett (4-40) did the damage.

Horsham are fourth and only 40 points off the summit after a fine win in a low-scronig affair at Brighton.

Nathan Roberts’ 71 rescued a poor batting show by Horsham as Sam Grant held them up with four for 46 in a total of 164. But it was enough – the home team were all out for 136 to give Horsham a 28-run win. George Garton (4-31) and Michael Munday (3-46) were the mainstays of the Horsham attack.

Bexhill are healthily-placed in fifth spot after winning at Billingshurst.

No-one could get more than Scott Stratton’s 34 as Billingshurst were out for 171, Shawn Johnson and Ashar Zaidi taking three wickets apiece.

Bexhill’s response was far from plain sailing as they slipped to 32 for two but an unbeaten 70 from Zaidi saw them home with four wickets in hand.

Middleton remain in the relegation zone after a home loss to Eastbourne at Sea Lane. Jacob Smith’s 119 helped Eastbourne to the highest Premier League score of the day, 319 for six. Rob Willway toiled away for three for 81.

Skipper Sean Heather was out early in the reply, scoring just four, and although several Middleton batsmen got in, none of them stayed there for long enough and with George Holman top-scoring with 43, they were well short as the last wicket fell on 171.

In division two, Lindfield top the table after a 61-run win at Findon, the hosts bowled out for 157 chasing 219 to win.

Hastings and St Leonards Priory trail Lindfield by 14 points after slipping up at Worthing. Harry Finch’s 53 was the highlight of Hastings’ 174 for nine, in which Benn Challen and Harry Dunn each claimed three victims.

Worthing reached the target with just four wickets down, thanks largely to 60 by opener Sam Jones and an unbeaten 39 by Challen.

Three Bridges are third and within touch of the top two after a thumping 151-run win over Crowborough Park. Bradley Gayler’s 89 not out enabled them to declare on 259 for five and it always looked too much for Crowhurst, who slumped to 108 all out - unable to cope with the bowling of Michael Rose, who took five for 34 to finish them off.

Pagham are down to fifth after a disappointing home defeat to Ansty. After putting the visitors in, Pagham bowled them out for 162 with Mike Hales (3-27) and Nabib Rahman (3-37) the bowling stars.

It looked a comfortable target but the Nyetimber Lane men were bowled out themselves for 136, Joe Metz the only player to master the conditions with a fine but futile 69 not out. Ansty’s Jethro Menzies and Glen Anson took four wickets each.

Ifield won at St James Montefiore to improve their chances of beating the drop - this in yet another low-scoing game.

Guru Kedarnath’s 62 lit up a poor Ifield innings, which ended with them all out for 164, and Kedarnath was then master with the ball as well, taking five for 33 to clinch a 17-run win.

In division three, Bognor march on in top spot - they’re 82 points clear of Crawley Eagles.

Bognor crushed Rottingdean by eight wickets at the Regis Oval while the Eagles were just as impressive, beating Goring by seven wickets.

Elsewhere, Portslade beat Burgess Hill, Chichester Priory Park defeated Steyning and Haywards Heath won at Glynde.

Division four is still led by Mayfield despite them slipping up in losing to Henfield – bowled out for 91 when needing only 128 for victory. Crawley closed the gap at the top with a big win at Hellingly.

There were also wins in this division for Southwater over Keymer and Hassocks, Stirlands against Rye and Wisborough Green over Slinfold.

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