Middleton Pul together - and look what happened

Glen Houchen bowling for Pulborough against Middleton Picture by Kate Shemilt C131005-4
Glen Houchen bowling for Pulborough against Middleton Picture by Kate Shemilt C131005-4

Middleton hosted a Pulborough side keen to finish off what they started earlier in the season in division two of the Sussex League.

Having only just scraped a draw in their first meeting, it was time for Middleton to galvanise and move towards preserving their division-two status.

A flat track proved tempting for the Pulborough skipper as he won the toss and chose to bat first. It was a decision he would soon come to regret as early wickets fell and at 60 for five, the visitors were in deep trouble.

Heroics from Glenn Hoochen, newly-promoted to the side after captaining his second team to five consecutive league titles, helped Middleton finish off a weak batting line-up. His five-wicket haul, backed up by three from Tommy Davies, enabled the home side to restrict Pulborough to 129 in 40 overs.

Ben Hansford’s (52) return to form continued as he dispatched a despondent attack to all parts. The gritty innings was a welcome relief for the opener, who brought up his half-century with a towering six back past the bowler.

Rob Willway (23) provided the perfect batting partner for Hansford as they chased Pulborough’s total. Despite losing both batsmen within spitting distance of victory, Towner (32) and Phil Price (6) completed the seven-wicket rout in 36 overs.

This was a much-needed victory for Middleton, who now go 60 points clear of the relegation zone where Pulborough and Glynde are placed.

Middleton vice-captain Will Burrows was thrilled and said: “I don’t often say this but I thought today was right out the top drawer. The team put in a great performance when we needed it most. We must build on this for the rest of the season.”