Middlesex made the most of their long trip to the seaside on Saturday as they beat Sussex BA, 133-104 at Eastbourne BC, in the Home Counties League. Victory on 4 rinks saw Middlesex secure 18 points to Sussex’s 4.

 The match was played in glorious conditions. The lovely weather was clearly to the enjoyment of Middlesex’s players who shook the long trip out of their legs to lead 32-10 at 5 ends and lead on all 6 rinks.

 Middlesex extended this lead to 28 shots, 69-41, at 10 ends and maintained the charge towards a white wash win. At 15 ends the lead was 29, 96-67 but Sussex had fought back to level the scores on 2 rinks.

 Extending their lead further to 33 at 18 ends, 118-85, things were paradoxically actually getting worse for Middlesex as they now trailed on 1 rink but things still looked good for 20 points. As the game drew to close Middlesex maintained their dominant position on 4 rinks but a take out shot for 5 saw Sussex steal a 2nd rink victory 19-20.

 Winning rinks for Middlesex were Ashley Tanner (Ashford), Robin Innes (West Ealing), Rob Hackwell & Matt Larman (both Ashford) who won 23-16; Martin Tasker Poland (Harefield Hospital), Pat Ryan (Broomfield), Grant Aldridge & Chris Dunkley (both Poplar) who also won 23-16; John Morgan & Gary Moore (both Bush Hill Park), Jason Lyttle (Hendon) and David Pitt (Masonian) who won 21-18. It was a double celebration for John Morgan who was making his Home Counties debut. 

Top rink though were the “subs”. Colin Pink of Broomfield must have wondered who he had upset when all 3 of the players originally selected with him were either moved or had to withdraw from the side. Coming in were Ron Searle (Ashford), Andy Knott (Masonian) and Tony Waller (Ladygate) who supported Colin to a fine 32-9 win. Andy Knott particularly rolled back the years with a superb display of draw bowls that left the opposition astonished that he was not a key part of the Middleton Cup squad!

 Saturdays other results saw previously unbeaten Surrey lose 4-18 at home to new League leaders and undefeated Kent BA. Also previously unbeaten Berkshire lost 20-2 away to Oxfordshire who were playing their 1st league game of the season.

 So Middlesex sit 4th having secured 26 points from their 2 games. Next up for Middlesex is a trip to Iver Heath BC to face current bottom side Buckinghamshire BA on June 30th. Before that Middlesex get their Middleton Cup campaign underway.