Middleton Sports Club looked a spectacle as the newly-promoted side hosted fellow league strugglers Glynde in division two of the Sussex League - but the picturesque summer surroundings couldn’t inspire a home victory.
The visitors chose to bat on a flat deck and wasted no time in punishing the wayward Middleton bowling attack.
Openers Joe Adams (31) and Archie Burrows (86) put on 50 for the first wicket. A worldy pouch from Adam Rawstrone ended Adams’ innings, which bought captain Dominic Shepheard (101) to the crease.
The two enjoyed a 122-run stand for the second wicket, making batting look very easy.
Amid a flurry of dropped catches and mis-fields, Dominic Harris struck 36 off just 18 deliveries. Glynde dominated the home bowling attack throughout the innings, finishing on 291 for five.
In reply, Ben Hansford (8) fell early but his fellow opener Will Burrows struck five boundaries in his 24, showing he might be getting back to his best.
Ed Towner (48) and Jamie Thompson (41) enjoyed some success, occupying the crease and taking the attack to Gynde’s bowlers. A late burst from Brandon Hanley (49) helped the home side finish on 225 for six.
Unfortunately Glynde’s tactic of amassing such a large total then placing fielders out on the boundary gave Middleton no chance of even making the game competitive.
Despite their batting heroics, the visitors took only one point more from the game than Middleton, leaving both sides cowering near the bottom of the table.
n Middleton Academy travelled to a gem of a ground at Watersfield, where they enjoyed a fine win over Pulborough thirds in the Invitation Leaguie division ten.
Pulborough were asked to bat and from 34 for no loss, Pulborough lost seven wickets in the next nine overs. Towner and Fuente picked up three wickets each and a decent run-out by the youngest player, Dawling, was a bonus.
Pulborough were all out for 89 in the 34th over.
The Academy openers put on 61 - Harry Pacey scoring 40 - and Middleton got home by seven wickets to take another 30 points in their quest for promotion. They sit second in the table.