Matchday 4, the final Group match, and we travelled to Arundel for a top vs bottom of the table clash knowing that a Middleton win with maximum bonus points would more than likely put us into the Bowl final to meet Preston Nomads. Amazingly for the fourth successive day of the week the weather was fine and very warm and after battling through the Arundel traffic, everyone was ready for the crucial match (except a ‘fashionably’ late arriving Hugo).
Just as amazing as the weather, Middleton won the toss and elected to bat. Marcus and the promoted Sam P (in place of Hugo) got off to a measured start until Sam P was out bowled for single figures. Marcus was looking good and having hit 3 fours unluckily cut one on to his stumps and was bowled for 14. At this time Sam G joined Hugo at the crease and the scoring rate increased rapidly, mainly due to some excellent powerful leg-side hitting from Hugo. Sam G, Freddie and Fergus quickly came and went but Hugo continued punishing the Arundel bowlers and after being joined by Tom, the scoring rate was up to 5 per over. Hugo eventually went for a brilliant and brutal 41, and this brought Toby to the crease. Having spent a couple days golfing (with Will – ‘I want to open the batting and bowling’ Fountain’), he looked raring to go and proceeded to dispatch the Arundel bowlers to all parts of the ground with sublime and stylish stroke play with absolutely exquisite timing. His 32no took the total to 154 for 7 after just 29 overs and having gained maximum batting points we declared 3 overs early to give us the best opportunity to bowl the Arundel team out.
The Dynamic Duo of Will and Dill opened the bowling and it was evident that Arundel were going to be intent on defending wherever possible, even from the first over! It was going to be a battle to get their batsmen out but the boys bowled well and after 2 maidens the first wicket fell to Dill. His 3 over spell only conceded 1 run and with Will bowling with great speed and enthusiasm the batsmen were under increasing pressure. Fergus, with a new arrow-straight run up came into the attack and once again bowled really well and was rewarded with another wicket (clean bowled). Wickets began to fall regularly and with Freddie bowling nicely and much improved accuracy from the day before, this was the time to change the pace. Rocco was introduced and bowled beautiful left arm off spin, the Arundel middle/lower order had no answer to this and he returned figures of 3 overs, 1 maiden, 3 wickets for 3 runs….brilliant bowling Rocco! the final few batsmen hung around for a while but the inevitable Middleton victory came when a ‘fired up’ returned to claim the final wicket. Arundel were all out for 84.
Match Summary and Highlights
Middleton: 154 for 7 dec (29 overs)
Hugo 41, Toby 32no, Tom 20, Marcus 14
Arundel: 84 all out (23 overs)
Dill 1 for1 off of 3, Rocco 3 for 3 off of 3, Fergus 1 for 14 off of 3
Middleton win by 70 runs and gain 40 points.
Man of the Match: Hugo Ormerod for a great innings of 41 (closely followed by Rocco and Toby)
The batting was good today and stroke play excellent, the bowling was accurate, however we need to be more co-ordinated in the field and work as a team. The team ethic and camaraderie has been good all week so let’s get that back for the final and we will do ourselves proud!
See you Sunday (assuming we’re in the Final) and feel being to bring as much support as possible for what is sure to be an exciting and close game!