The visitors were without three of their top players yesterday – absent for various reasons – and looked every inch a very average side as they were hammered by nine wickets.
With no Scott Stanworth and Grant Jones, their batting, their stronger suit, was torn apart and dismissed for just 83.
And with no Saq Mahmood to offer a pacy threat, the bowling was just not strong enough to cause Heywood problems and Bobby Cross and Travis Townsend were in no trouble as they chased down the target with nearly 30 overs to spare.
Riley Paterson struck the first blow after Middleton won the toss and elected to bat, having George Walker well caught by Andy Dawson at mid on.
Captain and stalwart Steve Davey tried to dig in alongside pro Grant Edmeades, but he edged a full delivery off Townsend to Cross at slip, and shortly after Townsend bowled Edmeades with a beauty to leave Middleton 46-3.
Despite the best efforts of Mo Shahid, it was a procession of wickets after this.
Joe Lovell helped himself to three very cheap wickets, while Chris Kaye helped himself to two more and Townsend finished with 3-16 to dispatch Middleton for 83 with nine overs to spare.
It was a wicket that did offer things for the bowlers, and Ben Lee did give Middleton the slightest glimmer when he had Ross Zelem caught by Davey for four.
But with no big score to chase, Townsend and Cross settled in, played themselves in, then played shots around the ground to chase down the target with 29.2 overs to spare.
Cross finished unbeaten on 29, and Townsend on 40 as Heywood kept up their chase of Walsden.
For Middleton, they are down into the second tier of the CLL. Their trials are well documented, but surely the aims of the two division CLL was not to see this great club relegated to the second division.
They have a strong membership and unarguably one of the top three grounds in the CLL. The league is not strengthened by their relegation.
G Walker c Dawson b Paterson 6
S Davey c Cross b Townsend 16
G Edmeades b Townsend 17
M Shahid c Pawson b Lovell 18
P Bennett lbw b Townsend 3
M Buckley b Lovell 10
S Warren run out 2
B Lee c Zelem b Lovell 2
S Holmes c Zelem b Kaye 0
D Stanley c Latham b Kaye 1
T Astley not out 0
Total (41 overs) 83
Fall of wickets: 1-15, 2-41, 3-46, 4-58, 5-68, 6-77, 7-81, 8-81, 9-81, 10-83
Bowling: Paterson 7-0-21-1, Naeem 5-1-10-0, Townsend 10-4-16-3, Kaye 14-4-28-2, Lovell 5-3-3-3
R Cross not out 29
R Zelem c Davey b Lee 4
T Townsend not out 40
Total (for 1 wkt, 20.4 overs) 84
Fall of wicket: 1-13
Holmes 7-1-23-0, Lee 7-2-27-1, Buckley 2-0-9-0, Walker 2-0-14-0, Edmeades 1.4-0-5-0, Stanley 1-0-4-0
- Tip-Top Heywood Start Wood Cup Defence In Style
- Edmeades Brilliance In Vain As Zelem And Townsend Set Up Heywood Victory
- Cross Back To Top Form To Help Heywood Crush Middleton
- Heywood Lose Out In Last Over Thriller @ Middleton
- Dawson Leads Way To Another Win But Bowlers And Fielders Set The Tone
- Zelem Excels As All-Round Heywood Crush Middleton
- Top Order Fails As Kaye And Lovell’s Super Spells Go Unrewarded
- Bowlers And Zelem Usher In Crushing Nine-Wicket Royton Victory
- Travis Turns On The Style As Middleton Are Humbled
- Cross, Cross And Dawson A Shine In Towncroft Win