Eal­ing on top once again af­ter down year

The Cricket Paper - - ECB PREMIER LEAGUES - By Char­lie Peat

DIS­AP­POINT­ING sea­sons can of­ten trig­ger a re­ac­tion and in the case of Eal­ing it was a record-break­ing re­sponse.

The club, who had won seven suc­ces­sive Middlesex Premier Di­vi­sion ti­tles be­tween 2005 and 2011, fin­ished fifth in 2016 and a full 36 points be­hind win­ners Ted­ding­ton.

For a side that is so used to win­ning, this was un­ac­cept­able, and their re­sponse this sum­mer could not have been more em­phatic.

Just one de­feat and 149 points later and Eal­ing have that sweet taste of suc­cess again and for di­rec­tor of cricket Tom Mor­ton, it’s a sign of things to come.

“It was an in­cred­i­bly sat­is­fy­ing re­sult at the end of it all,” said Mor­ton, who also keeps wicket and opens the bat­ting.

“We had a new cap­tain at the start of the year, we had a young side and it was quite a chal­lenge. For a lot of the team it would have been their first league ti­tle so it was a re­ally good achieve­ment.”

The west Lon­don out­fit also reached two fi­nals and their tally of 149 was the high­est achieved by any side in Middlesex top-flight his­tory.

“Last year was dis­ap­point­ing and we un­der­achieved as a club given the qual­ity of the play­ers we have,” Mor­ton added.

“I think maybe last sea­son was a bit of a wakeup call for the first team. We have a few great over­seas play­ers who brought a great in­flu­ence to the side and the change in cap­taincy to Chris­tian Martin, who led from the front, had a big in­flu­ence on the sea­son.

“Eal­ing Cricket Club has a his­tory of suc­cess, es­pe­cially in the last decade. It has won two na­tional cup com­pe­ti­tions so when it’s not suc­cess­ful it can be quite dam­ag­ing and hav­ing no suc­cess last sea­son was a down point for the club.

“But it’s nice to see how we’ve bounced back and no doubt there will be a pos­i­tive feel­ing go­ing into an­other tough sea­son next year.”

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