Ashington fall from the top with poor batting display

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Ashington mildly surrendered top spot of the Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League in incredible fashion on Saturday.

An inept batting display culminated in a crushing defeat against Swalwell at Langwell Crescent.

The Colliers had only been at the head of the division for a week after an emphatic derby victory over Bedlington coupled to Swalwell’s defeat at Leadgate.

But the Derwenthaugh outfit, shorn of four top players including professional and run-machine Chris Hewison and wicketkeeper-batsman Lloyd Anderson, regained their lofty perch after shooting out the home side for a paltry 75.

Paul Dumighan won the toss and put the hosts in on a green-tinged wicket.

And not even the long-serving skipper could have visualised a dream first half as they had Ashington on the back foot almost from the off.

Dumighan and his team-mates must have adopted five as being a lucky figure as Ashington’s first three wickets fell from the fifth ball of the over.

Lee Innes has been a nemesis to the Colliers in many years and he struck gold in his opening over as Neil Wood edged the ball to Michael Shotton at gully.

Jack Jessop had looked in good nick and his runs helped to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

But in the tenth, Guy Saxton dropped a short delivery which Anirudh Singh pulled to fine leg only for Richard Shotton to take the catch inside the boundary.

Ashington’s situation became more grim two overs later when Ben O’Brien had his stumps rearranged by right armer Saxton, and shortly after Dan Grant clipped a delivery from Innes straight to Michael Shotton at square leg.

The rapid procession of Ashington’s top order making their way back to the pavilion continued when with the first ball of his second over, Jessop (25) fell lbw to Nicky Phillips on 51-5, then Stephen Boyd slashed at a ball outside off stump from Dan Brown and was well caught at first slip by Phillips.

The hosts were in a perilous position of 61-6 at the halfway stage and desperately needed to consolidate, but their rapid demise continued.

Matty Storey, the only other batsman to reach double figures with 12, fell the same way as Jessop, then Callum Storey clipped Phillips straight to Lee Whitfield at cover.

When skipper Greg Williams hoisted Phillips to the long-off boundary, Richard Shotton safely held the catch at 67-9 before Matty Collins was last man out, bowled by the right arm spinner in the 34th over.

Ashington’s all out total of 75 was their lowest score of the season, which had stood at 88 in the corresponding fixture away to Swalwell in mid-May.

Phillips returned startling figures of 4-12 from 7.2 overs; Saxton 3-19 from 11; Innes 2-22 from nine and Brown 1-11 from six.

Without regular openers Hewison and Anderson, James Welch and Paul Dumighan filled the breach and allayed any hopes of a stinging home response with a stand of 49 inside 13 overs.

Indeed Ashington’s afternoon was summed up from the last ball of the ninth over when Jessop threw down the stumps to no avail as the batsmen made his ground, but the ball veered away for four overthrows.

Collins broke through to send back Welch lbw, then Jason Dumighan fell four overs later to a smart stumping down the leg side by Grant.

Paul Dumighan was caught behind by Grant off Singh but it was too little too late as Innes drove the first ball of the 21st over to the ropes to complete a comprehensive Swalwell victory.

Ashington 1 points

Swalwell 20 points

Taking in Saturday’s game from the boundary edge was Tony Cockburn who was the first Ashington player to represent his country when he played for England schools in the early 1970s.

Match sponsor: Kevin and Judith Scovell, Cortech Fire & Security Systems.

On Saturday, Ashington travel to face Shotley Bridge.