On a damp morning in Croydon Middlesex got off to almost the worst possible start in their Home Counties campaign for 2017.

Beaten 85-135 by the hosts Surrey BA, Middlesex gleaned only 2 points to their opponents 20.

Team Manager Ray Fortune was a frustrated man afterwards bemoaning poor luck, poor play and multiple personnel changes in equal measure. He will certainly be hoping for a better return from the 2nd game next week!

Middlesex got off to a slow start on a green best described as pushy. Short woods were punished heavily by positive tactics from the Surrey players. After 5 ends Middlesex were 16 adrift with only Paul Fullerís rink ahead. By 10 ends Middlesex were 29 adrift and still only led on the 1 rink, this time Perry Cooks who had won the 2nd 5 ends 8-0.

Middlesex just could not make any inroads and things went from bad to worse on the overall score, at 15 ends the gap was 36 but positively Perry had remained in front and Paul Fullerís rink had pushed back in front.  Despairingly over the next 3 ends Surrey outscored Middlesex 26-10 to lead by 52 and go ahead on all 6 rinks.

Over the final 3 ends Middlesex at least held things steady to finish behind by 50. West Ealing star Paul Caterís rink won the last 3 ends 6-0 to move ahead by 1 and record Middlesexís only winning rink 18-17. Paulís team mates were Ron Searle (Ashford), Rob Green (West Ealing) and Tommy Brooks (Poplar)

In other games in the League Berkshire had already played Sussex on the 13th May and won 16-6. Sussex yesterday travelled to Aylesham to take on Kent and lost 4-18. Berkshire in their 2nd game travelled to Aylesbury BC to take on Buckinghamshire BA and returned with all 22 points and a 63 shot victory!

So Berkshire lead the way early doors with 38 points, Middlesex lie 5th.

Next Saturday Middlesex host twice beaten Sussex at Hendon BC, please note this game will start at 11. A full preview will be on line later in the week.