Hugh beauty: Middleton has them in a spin

A STUNNING spell from Hugh Middleton has helped Orange win its Mitchell Cricket Council under 12  minor semi-final against Lithgow on Sunday.

Playing in Orange, the home side had already done the hard yards with the bat to set a total of 160.

Lithgow started well with the bat and were 3-53 before Middleton picked up the ball.

The young spinner took 6-6 from his four overs to help remove Lithgow for 69, and move Orange one step closer to the grand final.

Orange under 12 coach Stu Middleton was impressed with his team’s performance against an unknown opposition.

“We hadn’t played Lithgow before because the game got burnt out when the fires were on. We didn’t get a chance to reschedule the game,” Middleton said.

“It was a good result for a team we hadn’t seen before.”

Orange’s work with the bat set the platform, with Mitchell representatives Cameron Laird (38 not out) and Lachie Coyte (35) leading the way.

“Our batting has definitely improved since the first game,” Middleton said.

Lithgow looked dangerous early with the bat, but then Hugh Middleton turned the tables.

His first over was a maiden.

In his second over he was on two hat-tricks in taking four wickets, without a run scored against him.

“The kids were really excited and cheering for him,” Stu Middleton said.

Ben Norris (1-4), Tom Pearce (1-6), Sam Murphy (1-8) and Jack Goodsell (1-21) all took wickets for Orange.

The win means Orange will go up against Mudgee on February 16 in the preliminary final.

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The winner of that game will square off against Bathurst in the February 23 grand final.

“Bathurst and Mudgee both have three or four players in the Mitchell side. They’re the top two teams,” Middleton said.

“It would be great to get a win against them.”

Orange under 16s will have to earn a place in its grand final after losing the major semi-final to Bathurst on Sunday.

Bathurst batted out its 50 overs in Orange and finished on a strong 6-235 with Tom Galvin (108) and Ryan Newell (45) leading the charge.

Orange picked up the bat and were on target but were removed for 222 with five balls left in their innings.

The loss means Orange will host the preliminary final on February 16, with the winner moving on to the grand final against Bathurst on February 23.

The Orange under 14 side played its last round robin match on Sunday at Katoomba.

The visitors scored a convincing 10-wicket win over the Blue Mountains.

The Blue Mountains were removed for 68 in the 24th over with Ryan Noon (4-11) and Cohen Schubert (2-1) taking multiple wickets.

Orange openers Rory Daburger (2) and Schubert (63) then guided the side to 0-72 in the ninth over for the win.

Orange will host Mudgee in the under 14 preliminary final on February 16, with the winner going up against Bathurst in the February 23 grand final.

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