Cricket academy side make the grade in first year

The promotion-winning Middleton Academy team  Picture by Kate Shemilt C131041-2
The promotion-winning Middleton Academy team Picture by Kate Shemilt C131041-2

In their inaugural year, the Middleton Academy have pulled off an incredible and unexpected feat by achieving promotion from division ten of thr West Sussex Invitation League.

For the majority in the Academy side, this year has been their first taste of senior cricket. Most need a quick wash of the playing whites before age-group commitments the following morning.

Throughout the season captain Neil Pacey has ensured his side includes at least eight players under the age of 16 with a sprinkling of experienced seniors to provide direction and management.

The consistency of this young side saw them record eight victories out of the ten fixtures played. The superiority of their bowling and batting stats highlights their dominance throughout the season.

Runs were scored at an impressive rate as the Academy amassed more batting bonus points than the two other promoted sides as well as having the third highest net run-rate in the league.

The bowlers also performed consistently, gaining more bonus points than the 11 teams below them.

The Academy was introduced to give Middleton CC youngsters a chance to experience senior cricket without the substantial pressures of first or second-team matches. Thwy have already seen the fruits of their labour as various players have been called up to first and second-team duties.

Academy skipper Neil Pacey has been thrilled with the effort put in by all those who represented his side this year.

“It has been a fantastic season for all concerned. All the players that have been selected have in and done the job asked them whether it be batting, bowling or just fielding. It has been a pleasure to captain the side to promotion in their first season,” said Pacey.