Hampshire prospect Fletcha Middleton hits debut half-century as Burridge are beaten by Southern Premier League newcomers Totton & Eling

Hampshire prospect Fletcha Middleton compiled a debut half-century as Totton & Eling celebrated their Southern Premier League top flight return by beating Burridge.

By Simon Carter
Monday, 9th May 2022, 10:40 am

Middleton made his senior debut for the county his dad Tony was a regular for in the 1990s in a Royal London Cup tie against Durham last year.

The 20-year-old switched SPL clubs in the close season following Alton’s relegation and Totton’s elevation into the Premier Division.

He had started the 2022 season well, hitting 157 for Hampshire 2nds against the Cardiff UCCE - sharing a stunning opening stand of 333 with Tom Prest (181).

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James Hughes - pictured appealing for a wicket while bowling for Burridge - struck his 1st XI top score of 62 in a Southern Premier League top flight loss to newly promoted Totton & Eling. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

The 101-run opening partnership between Middleton (57) and Bothwell Chapungu (34) provided Totton, chasing 257-9 after the visitors had chosen to bat, with the ideal platform.

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The chase stalled when both openers were dismissed in quick succession and Owen Morris soon followed, spinner Oli Creal (3-47) taking two of the wickets.

Totton wobbled at 120-3, but No 3 Conor Griffiths (56) - who has joined from Sussex League champions Roffey - and the experienced James Taylor calmed nerves. Wicket-keeper Taylor - still Havant & Waterlooville’s record goalscorer - hit 31 but son Ethan was out for a single.

Solent University’s Jaidel Richardson (16) provided timely support before Griffiths departed at 229-7, leaving Brighton Mugochi (20) and Sam Bracey to get Totton across the line.

Totton triumphed by three wickets with 23 balls of the 50-over Southern Gardens ‘white ball’ contest to spare.

While James Hughes (68) and Hilio De Abreu (41) were together at 131-2, Burridge had earlier looked set for a sizeable total. Hughes’ innings was a first XI career best.

But Mugochi’s 5-35 haul created inroads, leaving Chris Blake (43 not out) and Cape Town teenager Nathan Schultz (40) to take them to 257-9.

Schultz was one of three debutants in the Burridge XI, alongside twins Oli and Charlie Creal who left three divisions lower Gosport Borough to taste SPL top flight cricket.