Cricket: Fighting comeback from Middleton

Date published: 16 July 2019

While England were winning the World Cup with a determined fight back Middleton were doing the same on a hot and humid day at Towncroft to beat Rishton and collect the full 12 points.

A decent crowd were flitting between the TV screens in the clubhouse and watching the brilliant fight back that was developing outside as Middleton took the last 7 wickets for 18 runs to clinch victory.

Middleton Skipper Dale Highton won the toss and elected to bat and got off to a half decent start, professional Chris Williams and Leighton Le Carpentier had taken the score to 20 mostly due to extras when Williams was caught by Rishton Skipper Brad Boddie off Abdul Mall for four.

Eleven runs later they were two down when Le Carpentier (9) was caught by Mall off Boddie.

James Tierney and Grant Jones took the score to 64 before Tierney was stumped by Chris Sanderson for the first of the wicketkeepers five victims on the day for 11 off Andy Hickey and two runs later Middleton were four down as Richard Dempster was caught behind off Mall without scoring.

Grant Jones and Rhys Tierney began a rebuilding job and did magnificently in a stand of 85 before Jones (61) was stumped by Sanderson off Luke Eccleston for his first half century of the season off 64 balls with 6 fours and 1 six.

Tierney followed him 3 runs later also stumped off Eccleston for 39.

Roberts went for 3 with the score on 171 after being caught by Rishton's Pakistani professional Mansoor Amjad off Eccleston. Tom Rutter bumped the score up with a quick fire 25 off 26 balls before becoming Ecclestons fourth wicket. Danny Royle scored 10 not out and Richard Fitton scored two not out to see Middleton through to 197-8 from their overs which was a score they were quite happy with.

William struck early with the score on 10 when he bowled Eccleston lbw and without addition to the score Dempster had McCauley Taylor caught behind by Le Carpentier for eight.

If Jones and Rhys Tierney had done a splendid rebuilding job, then the stand between Amjad and Boddie was even better. They put on a superb stand of 139 with some graft, some good running and putting away the bad balls to seemingly put Rishton in a winning position but what was to come next from Middleton was equally superb.

Highton introduced James Tierney into the attack and he blitzed through Rishton having Boddie caught by Fitton for 57. Twelve runs later the Fitton/ Tierney combination got rid of Asfak Patel for five.

The returning Dempster had Sanderson (2) caught on the boundary by Highton with the score on 164.

Two runs later Tierney had his third wicket when Miya Lunar was caught by Le Carpentier for none and one run later the prize wicket of Amjad magnificently caught by Dempster running in from the boundary for 79.

Tierney finished with 29-4 off his permitted 7 overs due to his age.

Highton came back to replace Tierney and picked up two wickets in his over having Neill Wells caught by Le Carpentier for one and next having George Taylor caught and bowled.

Rutter replaced Dempster who had finished a superb spell of 15-5-36-2 and it took him two balls to finish the innings off having Mall caught by Dempster for eight as Middleton won by 18 runs. A win had seemed highly unlikely at one stage but great credit to the lads for sticking at it.

Next week, Middleton travel to Nelson on the Sunday 21 July.

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