This Saturday Middlesex start their 2017 Middleton Cup Campaign when they entertain Buckinghamshire BA at Ladygate in a game that starts at 1000hrs.

Middlesex have changed sections for the 2017 campaign and alongside Buckinghamshire will face Isle of Wight (June 17th, Away) and Hampshire (July 8th, Away) instead of last season’s Kent and Sussex. That said it remains a 4 team group and a positive result in the 1st group game remains vital.

When Middlesex and Bucks were last in the same group, 2007 / 08, Middlesex suffered a heavy away defeat before winning the 2008 home game, at Ladygate by 25 shots, something similar this week would be very nice. This weeks other group game sees Hampshire make the long overseas journey to Shanklin to face the Islanders.

Team Manager Ray Fortune and his selectors are looking to build on the efforts of the last 2 seasons when, after poor starts against Kent, the side has finished strongly. Consequently there are no significant changes to the 2016 squad although there has been 1 late change to this weeks selected side with Alan Harman (Bounds Green) replacing John Sweeney.

Bucks show where the County strength lies with 10 players selected from each of Gerrards Cross and Bletchley Bowls Club, indeed all 6 Middleton Skips come from the same club, surely a unique situation? Also team Manager Gerry Smyth is of course a past Middlesex stalwart which adds a little bit of extra spice to the game.

Supporters are positively encouraged on the day to cheer Middlesex onto a positive start as they look to move beyond the group stages for the first time in many years. With decent weather forecast what more could you want to do with your Saturday morning.

Report will follow next week