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Friday, 21 July 2017
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Seconds Reach the Burton Cup Final PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Whilst the focus has been largely on the first team’s unbeaten run in the league, the second team have also remained unbeaten and on Saturday reached the final of the Burton Cup. As the sun shone on Towncroft a reasonable crowd had assembled as the Greenfield team took to the field as the bowling team.  Opening the batting for Middleton was the hard hitting batsman Reece Jones and the up and coming youngster Leighton Le Carpentier. Leighton fresh from representing Lancashire East under 17’s had clearly caught the eye of the County selectors not only for his ability with the bat but also his agility as a wicket keeper. Indeed both I and the Lancashire selectors are watching closely the development of Leighton as a keeper and hopefully will get the chance to see him behind the sticks on a more regular basis.

Both opening batsmen made confident starts each finding the boundary on several occasions. Reece Jones with his considerable first team experience was ticking over nicely at a run a ball and was well back in the groove following his two year sabbatical in Canada. With the half century partnership approaching , Reece looked to up the tempo and was caught by their keeper and namesake Adam Jones off the bowling of Sam Mayor for 17. Greenfield are a progressive club and have already announced their intention to join the Greater Manchester Cricket League next year. They also seem to prosper despite having five other cricket teams within a two mile radius.
 
The departure of Jones with the score on 49 brought the hard hitting Mohammad Shahid to the crease and Mo quickly hit the boundary on four occasions on his way to a quick fire 21 before being bowled by Jim Ashton for 22. Le Carpentier had moved smoothly to 33 when he was joined by fellow Lancs junior James “Chippy” Tierney.  The two 16 year olds then proceeded to bat with class and authority against much older opposition as they stroked the ball to all parts of the ground as they built a seventy run partnership. Both products of the Middleton youth system they have gradually progressed through the various age groups, be it Under 9’s, 11’s, 13’s, 15’s and 18’s.  A production line of local talent has been key in the recent upsurge in the fortunes of the Moonrakers.
 
With the score on 143 Le Carpentier was eventually out caught by Mayor off the bowling of skipper Dan Bacon for a well earned 56. Meanwhile Tierney was not hanging around, scoring at a run a ball he was looking to push the score well over 200.  This was turning into a great knock by Tierney showing his full array of shots to hit the boundary with regularity. It was a good way to celebrate his call up to the full Lancashire Under 17 squad. I was first impressed by Tierney more as a bowler than a batsman when he was called upon as first change bowler against Micklehurst at the start of the season. His pace and accuracy was superb for one so young and he ripped out the Micklehurst middle order. Today he was showing his versatility with the bat and could indeed turn out to be a top all rounder considering he is years away from peaking. If he listens to his coach at Middleton who knows how far he could go. Needless to say his run a ball 87 on Saturday was absolutely key in turning the match in Middletons favour.
 
Eventually out , with the score on 249 Tierney had put the Moonrakers in a dominant position. The middle order had added key runs with Lee adding a quickfire 17.    Experienced old heads, Hughes, Astley and Buckley added vital runs to take Middleton to 265 for 7 off 45 overs. Greenfield then got off to a good start with openers Jones and Arundale hitting 28 before Buckley .struck and superb bowling from Shahid with five for 28 destroyed the Greenfield nnings. Shahid is Mr Reliable and can add vital runs or indeed take key wickets.
 
Greenfield were eventually all out for 164 and this means that Middleton now face Glodwick in the final on the 21st July. The final will be held at Glodwick after winning the toss on Tuesday night
 
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Middleton C.C. currently have three senior teams competing in the Penine Cricket League, and five junior teams.

Senior matches take place on the majority of Saturday and Sundays.

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