Not a very good day at the Racecourse
Monday, 16 April 2012
The first game of the season took place at the Racecourse ground the home of Radcliffe on a bitterly cold day and unfortunately for Middleton it wasn’t a very good day at the races.
Skipper Ste Davey won the toss and alongside Scott Stanworth opened the batting. Middleton got off to positive start with pair putting together a stand of 31 and not looking in much danger when Stanworth called for a quick single only to be run out by some neat footwork by Michael Burns, Deputy Professional JJ Pienaar joined Davey but was bowled by wily old campaigner Ben Johnson without troubling the scores with the score on 38.
 
Thirty Eight for two soon became 40/5 as first Burns had Grant Jones brilliantly caught by Coates for 1 and Davey (22) caught by Johnson at the second attempt before Johnson bowled South African Cameron Smith ( 1 ). Matt Lee hit a straight drive for 4 before becoming Johnsons 3rd victim and the very next ball Danny Core was back in the pavilion lbw and Middleton were in the mire at 49/7. Despite some lusty blows by Mark Buckley they were eventually bowled out for 74 Buckley (15) Reece Jones (5) and Zaffer Zaman (0) all became victims of Burns who finished with figures of 12.3-3-30-5 and Dale Highton remained unbeaten on 3.

Middleton needed early wickets and that is what they got when in the 1 st over Pienaar had Farley LBW without scoring. Radcliffe steadied the ship with Coates and Professional Phil Hayes taking the score to 27 before Highton had Coates caught by Grant Jones in his first over another wicket fell in his next over when Barling fell for 0 caught by Pienaar.
 
The big moment of the innings came in Highton's 3rd over when he and everybody else were convinced Stanworth had caught Hayes behind the wicket but to Middleton's dismay the umpire turned down the decision and Hayes and Gibson saw Radcliffe home with over 25 overs to spare with Gibson unbeaten on 4 an d Hayes compiling his fifty to finish the game.

A disappointing result for the Moonrakers which they hope to put behind them when they host Crompton next Sunday start time 1 o'clock and the 2nd XI playing at Crompton in the reverse fixture.
 
Rod Highton 

CAN YOU HELP

Would any local businesses be able to help with the sponsorship of the Professional Michael Smith's car for this season . If anybody can help or are interested in helping please contact the club on 0161 643 3595.
 
Middleton

S Stanworth run out 14

S Davey ct Johnson b Burns 22

JJ Pienaar b Johnson 0

G Jones ct Coates b Burns 0

C Smith b Johnson 1
M Lee ct Farley b Johnson 4

R Jones lbw b Burns 5

D Core lbw b Johnson 0

M Buckley b Burns 15

D Highton not out  3

Z Zaman b Burns 0

Extras 10

Total 74 a/o

M Burns 12.3-3-30-5

B Johnson 12-2-42-4

 
Radcliffe

M Farley lbw b Pienaar 0

M Coates ct G Jones b Highton 16

P Hayes not out 50

T Barling ct Pienaar b Highton 0

S Gibson not out 4

Extras 5

Total 75/3

JJ Pienaar 8-2-19-1

Z Zaman 4-1-15-0

D Highton 8-4-16-2

M Buckley 2-0-11-0

D Core 2.2—14-0