MIDDLETON HOPES MELT AWAY AS MIDDLESEX WILT IN SHANKLIN SUNSHINE
“Didn’t we have a lovely day, the day we went to Shanklin”? Well no frankly we didn’t!!
Yes the sun blazed down from a clear blue sky on a glorious summer’s day, yes the green was good, and yes Middlesex knew what they had to play for. Once again, though, Middlesex failed to produce when it mattered slipping to their second group stage defeat and exiting the Competition with a group game still to play.
It could have been so different, Middlesex fought back from a sticky start, on the fast surface, to take a good lead but the Islanders confidence is sky high at present and they fought back with a vengeance and Middlesex seemingly had no answer.
After 5 ends Middlesex trailed 18-29 and led on only 1 rink. Middlesex though adjusted well to the conditions and fought back to lead 52-41 at 10 ends, moving ahead on 4 rinks with Nick Edwards storming ahead 15-2 at that point. At 15 ends Middlesex still led but only by 4, 72-68 still retaining 3 winning rinks.
At this point Middlesex seemed to wilt in the heat as they slipped 7 behind, 83-90 at 18 ends. They never recovered and ended up going down to a 9 shot defeat 100-109. So frustrated were the Middlesex Officials that Team Manager Ray, President Andy and Match Secretary Eric turned to drink.
Middlesex ended up with 1 winning rink and 2 draws gaining only 4 points to the Islanders 18.
Middlesex’s winning rink was Dave Norton (Hendon) making his Middleton Debut (pictured singularly), Stuart McConnachie (Ashford) also making his Middlesex Middleton debut, Paul Cater (West Ealing) and Ron LeLeux (Rosedale Park) who won 18-12. Dave and Stuart will receive their red Middleton flashes at the first opportunity as there were no post match proceedings at the game.
Drawing rinks for Middlesex were David Pitt (Masonian), Jason Lyttle (Hendon), Rod Smith (Holtwhites) and Steve Stockley (Parsons Green) at 19 all and Ashley tanner (Ashford), Norman Worley (Hendon), Craig Hill (Winnington) and Nick Edwards (Bounds Green) at 16 all.
In the days other game Hampshire beat Bucks 15-7. So Middlesex sit bottom of the section with 8 points from 2 games and are out. Isle of Wight lead the way with 34 and go to Bucks for their final game. Bucks have 25 points so with a good win will go through. Hampshire though are not out of it and know that with a big win coupled with a tight result in the Bucks game could see them through.
So on July 8th Middlesex travel to Atherley to face Hampshire BA with only pride to play for. No doubt we have plenty of that so let’s go there and finish the campaign on a high.
Preview to come.