Rochdale Prove too Strong in Final Pre-Season Friendly
Monday, 17 April 2017
Grant Jones returns to MiddletonWith only a week to go before the start of the season, the First Eleven faced Rochdale in the final pre-season friendly.

Rochdale batted first and got off to a solid start as Jack Avery and Ben Chapman punished anything a touch too full.

Middleton professional, Chris Williams, bowled well early doors but without luck with a dropped catch and aerial shots not falling to hand.

J. Avery retired when he reached his 50 and Ben Chapman was caught behind by Pete Foden for 37.

This brought Andy Dawson to the crease and he played a destructive innings before retiring on 56 off just 34 balls. An innings that included 6 fours and 3 sixes.

With the score on 179 for 2, Rochdale were looking to push on and post a score in excess of 220. But tight death bowling, especially from Steve McGuinness, put an end to this as Rochdale collapsed to 184 for 8.

In reply, Middleton got off to a good start with Williams being the main aggressor before he was bowled by Oli Makin for 40 with the score on 56.

Once Williams had gone, Rochdale then tightened their hold on the game with Makin and Will Avery bogging the batsmen down and bowling very few poor deliveries. With W. Avery conceding just 20 runs off his 8 over spell.

Middleton were always behind the run rate after this spell. As they played more, aggressively wickets inevitably fell, as they fell from 112 for 1 to 167 for 7 off their 40 overs.

A very successful friendly in all played in front of a large crowd. Credit must be given to the players and the umpires for getting the game on in between the rain showers.

The scorecard is available here