Roffey remain top after defeat to Horsham

After a classic local derby, a great advertisement for competitive cricket, Roffey still top the table, by 12 points, despite suffering their first league reverse, Horsham remain fourth, both having a game in hand over Preston Nomads (second) and East Grinstead, third.

Horsham President Hugh Thomas told the District Post: “Roffey were down and out, but then staged an amazing recovery to post a challenging score. Horsham never seemed to be quite there with their response, but they pressed on to pull off an excellent victory with a wonderful winning partnership, it was a most remarkable and highly enjoyable game!”

Horsham’s overseas player Travis Muller – eventually finishing with 4-64 – made the early running, bowling with pace and lift from the railway end accounting for Roffey’s top order, Kamau Leverock chipping in with another, reducing Roffey to 49-5. Many sides would then have folded, but Mike Norris had other ideas, setting about a rescue act, first with George Fleming and then with Matt Davies. These three treated the large crowd to a highly impressive batting display – George batting for more than an hour and a half for 39 and Matt with a run a ball 48. But it was an unbeaten 102 from Mike Norris, batting with patience and exceptional skill with a classy league century unlikely to be bettered that stole the show, enabling Roffey to reach 246-7.

Could the Roffey bowlers make significant inroads and had Horsham’s batting recovered from recent frailty?

First blood went to Roffey, Leigh Harrison striking in the first over. Then Will Beer with 42, getting more runs against Roffey, and John Burroughs, 45, carried Horsham to 103. Subsequent batsmen reached double figures but in a marathon 24 overs Kuldeep Rawat took 5-110, Roffey reducing Horsham to 190-6.  Requiring 57 from 40 balls, opinions varied – should Horsham shut up shop or go for the runs?

The question was soon answered as new batsmen Tom Johnson hit 36 from 17 balls and Elliot Cloy weighed in with a run a ball 39, Horsham galloping home with 10 balls to spare. Elliot said: “We were under the cosh but TJ batted brilliantly, the outfield was fast and he timed the ball so well, taking the pressure off me.”

Roffey captain Josh Fleming told the District Post: “Tom and Elliot were superb at the end, taking it away from us. Earlier we showed a lot of character to stay in the game after Travis’s first spell, it was a very good wicket once the ball got old. We’ve got to pick ourselves up now but we’re still in pole position.”

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