Sussex Cricket League leaders Roffey suffered their first defeat of the season yesterday (Saturday).
Roffey went down by four wickets in a high scoring game away to local rivals and fellow title hopefuls Horsham, but are still 18 points clear at the summit.
After winning the toss and batting, Roffey recovered from 49-5 to post 246-7 thanks largely to a wonderful 102 not out from Mike Norris. Matt Davies chipped in with a quickfire 48 off 46 balls, while Travis Muller took 4-64 for Horsham.
Most of the Horsham batsmen made a contribution in reply with Will Beer (42) and John Burroughs (45) leading the way. Horsham needed 53 off the last six overs, but Elliott Cloy (39 not out) and Tom Johnson (36 not out off 17 balls) saw them home with eight balls to spare.
Second-placed East Grinstead edged home by one wicket at home to Hastings Priory, who slip to the foot of the table. Henry Smith top-scored with 41 as Priory were all out for 151 after choosing to bat, while Will Adkin took 3-24 and Alex Edwards 3-11.
Adkin also played a key role with the bat, top-scoring with 48 as Grinstead just about scraped over the line. Ian Sturmer made 27 not out, while Elliot Hooper claimed 4-40 and John Morgan 3-48 for Priory.
Defending champions Preston Nomads won by two wickets in another close game at home to Brighton & Hove. Brighton rallied from 1-2 to total 237-8 batting first courtesy of an unbeaten run-a-ball 87 from number eight Alex Marsh and Lachlan Sperling’s 59.
Carl Simon took four wickets for a Nomads side which also made a bad start to its innings, slumping to 11-3. Matt Hobden (55), Robert Wakeford (44) and Aaron Phillips (42) spearheaded the turnaround, though, as Nomads won with two balls to spare. Matt Wood took 3-25.
Eastbourne picked up their first win of the season with a four-wicket success at home to Cuckfield. Opening bowlers David Twine and Matt Cooke claimed four wickets each as Cuckfield were all out for 186 batting first despite James Thorpe fashioning an undefeated 74.
Dominic Shepheard (56 off 55 balls) and Sussex professional Callum Jackson (40) top-scored as Eastbourne got home in the 42nd over. Nicholas Beard was the most successful Cuckfield bowler with 3-48.
Bexhill also celebrated their maiden victory of the campaign and moved off the bottom in the process with a five-wicket triumph at home to Three Bridges which featured a superb performance from Joe Cox.
The long-haired young seamer bagged 8-35 - a new Bexhill first XI league record - to bowl Bridges out for 161 following an opening partnership of 101 between Ben Speake (83) and Conor Golding (26).
Bexhill looked to be in trouble at 24-4 in reply before Johnathan Haffenden (92) and Cameron Burgon (30 not out) compiled a brilliant fifth wicket partnership of 125 to secure a much-needed victory.
Standings (played-points): 1 Roffey 7-158, 2 East Grinstead 8-140, 3 Preston Nomads 7-134, 4 Horsham 7-133, 5 Brighton & Hove 8-117, 6 Cuckfield 8-116, 7 Eastbourne 7-94, 8 Three Bridges 8-93, 9 Bexhill 7-73, 10 Hastings Priory 7-66.