MIDDLETON CC’s first XI narrowly failed to chase down 188 in losing their first game of the season.
The Sussex Premier League Premier Division side will be disappointed after a 15-run defeat against Division Two Chichester Priory Park in the first round of the ECB National Club Championship on Saturday.
Winning the toss, captain Sean Heather’s decision to put Chichester PP into bat initially seemed vindicated as Craig Fowle had opener Matthew Bennison leg before.
However, Chichester PP rebuilt well around a second wicket stand of 111 with Simon Hasted (50) and Mike Smith (62) making impressive half centuries with Smith as the aggressor, hitting three sixes in his 68-ball knock.
Middleton managed to put the brakes on just before the 30-over mark with a double blow with the economical Fowle (2-19) getting his second lbw decision while opener Hasted fell with no more runs added to the scoreboard when stumped by Matthew Robinson off the bowling of Glenn Houchen.
Two further wickets in the final ten overs from Brandon Hanley kept Chichester PP in check and Middleton feeling they had found a way back into the contest.
The home side lost both openers with only 32 on the board in reply but pushed on as Patrick Colvin joined his captain in a stand of 91 before Colvin departed for 35. Heather continued to take the fight to the visitors’ attack but his dismissal for 38 led to a middle-order collapse.