Wednesday, 03 May 2017

It was a great weekend for Middleton as they had two maximum victories over Werneth and Uppermill, keeping them top of the table with Shaw. It was an early start on Saturday with the short journey to Werneth's Coppice and the ground looked in good condition.

Werneth look stronger in 2017 with Matt Taylor the paid man having returned to the club from Littleborough. Another capture from Boro is former Royton left arm quickie Mathew Hodson and skipper is Werneth stalwart Mike Wilson. Werneth won the toss and after a respectful minutes silence for a couple of Werneth life members who had passed away, Middleton went out to bat. It looked a lively pitch and soon Midd were in big trouble at 10-3, with the professional Williams, opener Gee and skipper Walker all back in the pavilion. Walker can feel slightly aggrieved as he appeared well down the wicket when given out LBW. With the Werneth bowlers building up some pace and their team fired up, the pressure was on Grant Jones and Zain Tahir to dig Middleton out of a hole. This they did, as both dug deep and gradually pulled Middleton round. Having reached 33 and 20 respectively both Jones and Tahir were caught behind, having dug Middleton out of trouble. These wickets were compounded when young Rhys Tierney who batted so well against Ashton was run out.

This brought together two Middleton youngsters Tom Rutter and keeper Pete Foden. Both hung around and each got three boundaries as they took the score well past 100. By the time each were out for 36 and 30 Middleton had reached respectability and were eventually all out for 152. It was pleasing that the three top scorers had all come through the ranks as juniors, with Rutter following in the footsteps of his father Tony who still plays for Higher Blackley CC. Star of the Werneth bowlers was Wilson with 5-35.

Opening the bowling for Middleton was professional Chris Williams and Mike Pritchard. Both bowled with accuracy and some pace and had Werneth struggling for runs. Young opener Porteus did well for 23 and at the end Hodson had a blast for 34, however Werneth ended up all out for 107. It was excellent bowling by all four of the Middleton bowlers who ended up with figures of -

Williams 5-48
Pritchard 3-17
Rutter 1-14
Mcguiness 1-26

Batting stats for Middleton were-

Williams -0
Jones - 33
Tahir - 20
Rutter - 36
P Foden - 30
Mcguiness - 5
M Foden - 4
Pritchard - 4

It was a good win for Middleton as Werneth are improved this year and are a good club. It was good to meet Ian Dronsfield who together with his family does such great work up at the Coppice.

Philip Hamnett