Well having recorded excellent victories on the first 2 days of this season’s U16 SJCF Middleton played hosts to Littlehampton in a game which has over the past few years provided an incredibly close and competitive fixture.
The outcome today was that Middleton’s young team recorded their most convincing victory of the festival so far and in the process maintained their 100% record with 3 wins out of 3 to lead the U16 SJCF league with 2 games remaining.
Result: Middleton won by 131 runs.
Middleton 197-6: Jack Dawling 103, Ted Eismark 40.
Littlehampton 66 all out: Ben Taylor 4-30, Lewis Faint 3-2.
In hot and sunny conditions Littlehampton won the toss and elected to bowl, which suited Middleton’s preference to bat first, and within a matter of 3 overs Middleton’s opening pairing of Jack Dawling and Ben Peach began to take control.
Littlehampton’s opening bowling partnership began to toil as Jack dispatched them for consecutive boundaries and with Ben providing solid support Middleton took the ascendancy.
An opening partnership of 59 then saw Ted Eismark join Jack at the wicket for what was eventually a 111 run partnership putting Middleton very much in control.
With the score on 173 Ted was eventually dismissed for a fine 40, which showed great promise for the future.
By this point Jack had taken control of Littlehampton’s attack and, in chasing the final batting point for reaching 200 for the team, he was eventually caught having scored 103 runs, his second century of the week having spent a total of 9 hours at the crease so far over the 3 games.
With 197 for the loss of 6 wickets on the board, and with a rather splendid tea having been consumed, Middleton then set about Littlehampton’s opening partnership with vigour.
The pace of Matt Lee and guile of Ben Taylor seemed to flummox our opponents and before long wickets began to fall.
In 4 stunning overs Ben Taylor dismissed 4 of Littlehampton’s top order batsman to put Middleton in complete control and with Lewis Faint taking 3 wickets in his first over from the sea end Littlehampton were floundering on 57-7 with a mere 13 overs bowled.
Mention must be made of the highest level of fielding during this period of play with Ted Eismark taking 2 excellent catches in the covers – the second reminiscent of Derek Randell at his peak!
It was left for Jake Miles and Fraser Gamblin to wrap things up with the 2 final wickets, dismissing Littlehampton for 66 just before 5.00pm – a change from the 8.00pm finishes at Goring and Littlehampton!
On the back of Monday and Tuesday’s outstanding victories this win sees our young team continuing to lead the SJCF league – an incredible achievement.
This again was a fantastic all round team performance by a team of players who not only show great ‘togetherness’ as a squad but also demonstrate respect for our opposition in the traditional Middleton way as shown by all Middleton teams.
We now play hosts to East Preston tomorrow for what is always an enjoyable and dare I say hopefully successful fixture for our guys to play in.
Thanks to all the parents for contributing to an exceptionally good spread for tea, to Pete for all his help around the ground and to Nigel for scoring.
See you tomorrow.