Cricketers’ brave title push ends after defeat to Roffey

Roffey celebrate winning the league title at Eastbourne
Roffey celebrate winning the league title at Eastbourne

Eastbourne’s excellent eight match winning run ended last Saturday and with it went their dreams of claiming the Sussex Premier League title.

Eastbourne’s fine recent form saw them rise up the table and set up a title showdown against league leaders Roffey at the Saffrons last Saturday.

But a century from Jibran Khan and four wickets from Rohit Jagota saw the visitors to a 116 run victory and clinch the Sussex Premier League title for 2018.

Roffey won the toss and elected to bat first and Theodore Rivers (17) and Ben Manenti (33) saw them off to a solid start before they both fell victim to the bowling of Henry Crocombe.

Khan though then came into his own and his well-crafted 116 from 124 balls saw them to a sizable total of 321-5 from their 50 overs. Roffey’s Paul Harrison batted well for his 50 before he also fell to Crocombe who finished with 3-77 from his 10 overs. Matt Davies reached a half-century as he finished unbeaten on 51 runs from 46 balls.

Eastbourne required a flying start but their key batsman James Hockley was dismissed for a first ball duck while their other opener, Daniel Arms, lasted just three balls as he was out for four.

Jacob Smith (21) and Tom Gordon (25) tried to get the run chase going but when they fell, plus the loss of Malcolm Johnson for a duck and Ben Twine for 13 saw them at 79-6 and way off the pace.

Jordan Turner, coming in at No 7, offered a glimmer of hope with 65, including six fours and four sixes but when he was caught out Eastbourne’s chances faded.

Lower order contributions from Joe Pocklington (27) and David Twine (34) saw the hosts to 205 all out from 35.3 overs. Roffey’s Rohit Jagota claimed 4-30 from seven overs and their were two wickets each for Leigh Harrison and Luke Bernard.

With one match remaining, Roffey top the table on 415 points while Eastbourne, who remain in second place, are on 380 points. Preston Nomads are third on 351 points. Ifield are rock bottom and will be relegated alongside Hastings, who are second from bottom.

Eastbourne’s final match of the season will be at East Grinstead (Saturday, 11.30am).

Luke Tomsett top scored for the seconds with 79 as they enjoyed a seven wicket win at East Grinstead last Saturday. The hosts posted 171-9 with Eastbourne’s Ben Barter taking 3-28. Eastbourne surpassed their target in the 26th over for the loss of three wickets. The seconds are third from bottom in Division Three East. Tomorrow (Saturday, 12 noon) they welcome Crawley Eagles.