Middleton make Findon flounder

Fine bowling from Middleton's Brandon Hanley   Picture by Louise Adams
Fine bowling from Middleton's Brandon Hanley Picture by Louise Adams

Middleton made it three wins out of three after a close-fought victory over rivals Findon at Sea Lane in division two of the Sussex League.

After heavy rainfall, the game was only possible thanks to the tireless work of the groundstaff and volunteers doing all they could to ensure the pitch was playable.

Middleton captain Brandon Hanley won the toss and asked Findon to bat first knowing conditions would be tough.

This proved the case as Findon found themselves in trouble on 26 for four thanks to a hostile spell of bowling from Jamie Thompson, who bowled quickly and with great rhythm. He was ably supported at the other end by Davies.

Findon wicketkeeper Glen Bridson came in and batted patiently, determined not to give his wicket away and he and John Rodgers pushed the score on to 89.

Thompson was brought back on for his second spell and got Rodgers with a well-taken caught and bowled. Bridson was still there playing nicely and went on to make 77 not out.

Support was offered by the Findon lower order but they were eventually all out for 164. Pick of the Middleton bowlers was Thompson with three for 33 off 11 overs.

In Middleton’s reply, Will Burrows’ woes with the bat continued as he went early, followed next ball by Keelan Shoulders as he edged behind for no score.

When Ben Hansford also went for a duck having been cruelly run out at the non-striker’s end, the home side were struggling at 17-3.

Sean Heather and Jack Lerwill batted sensibly, running well and making sure the bad ball went to the boundary. But the introduction of spinner Harry Metters did the trick for Findon, picking up the wicket of Heather for 26.

That brought Thompson to the crease and he continued where Heather left off supporting Lerwill. The pair put on 89 before Lerwill was bowled for 69, including four fours and five sixes.

With rain in the air, and the light fading, conditions for batting were becoming increasingly difficult.

Ant Ender was stumped for four and Thompson was lbw for 30, both victims of Metters. This left Hanley to finish the job for his side and he did it in nonchalant fashion hitting ten in just two balls including a six out of the ground, meaning Middleton got over the line by three wickets.

Middleton wicketkeeper Burrows, who took four catches, said: “We’re delighted with the start we’ve made this season. It seems in every game a different person stands up and puts a match-winning performance for us.

“A big thanks has to go to the groundsman and his team who put in sterling performances themselves this week by getting the game on.”

Middleton travel to newly-promoted Billingshurst on Saturday.

IAN BURROWS