MIDDLETON’S slide has continued with a thumping defeat to their rivals.
When does a slump in form become something more serious?
That is what will be on Middleton CC players’ minds after a fifth defeat in six against fellow strugglers Brighton and Hove on Saturday.
A seven-wicket loss has left the club looking anxiously down at the two relegation places below them rather than up the table.
They were quickly in trouble after being put into bat, with three quick wickets from Brighton and Hove opening bowler Chris Mates, including the prize scalp of last week’s century maker Angus Robson, leaving Middleton 7 for 3.
A quick-fire 47 from Patrick Colvin threatened to briefly wrest back control for the visitors, especially while a patient Nick Smith was at the other end, but Middleton finished on 96 all out in less than 30 overs.
It was never likely to be enough and, sure enough, home opener Liam Smith frustrated the Middleton bowlers in advancing to 50 as the home side cantered to a seven-wicket victory despite the best efforts of a six-man Middleton bowling attack which included wicket takers Matt Cooke (1-17) and Nick Smith (2-16).