Ashington go second after hard fought win over Cowgate

Ashington leapfrogged Alnwick and into second place in the table on Saturday after completing a season’s double over Cowgate at the Octagon.

But they still remain 14 points adrift of leaders Backworth.

This weekend the top two will go head to head at Langwell Crescent.

In north west Newcastle and on a scorching summer’s day, Greg Williams’ side did not have things their own way against their mid-table hosts and were forced to work hard for runs before being bowled out in the penultimate over for 191.

Even then, despite believing they had enough on the board, the home side gave the Colliers an almighty shock – this after Callum Storey had given his team a dream start by removing opener Mohammed with the first ball.

From then on, Ashington could only look on and fear the worst as senior partner Syed Aslam virtually led a one man assault on the Ashington bowling attack of Callum Storey and Sonu Singh with an aggressive display of big hitting.

So much so that Cowgate rattled up 55 runs in four overs with Aslam – partnered by Usman Mahroof – striking one six and seven boundaries.

But Williams kept faith with his youthful attack and it was Callum Storey who exacted full revenge, having Mahroof well caught in the gully by Matty Storey before the adventurous Aslam eventually top edged Callum Storey and was safely pouched by wicketkeeper Daniel Grant for 48.

Ashington quenched Cowgate’s electrifying start and struck at the right times before completing victory in the 31st over.

Right arm spinner Chris Watson was on a hat-trick on one occasion and ended with 3-22 whilst Callum Storey galvanised his comeback with final figures of 5-32, leading his side to a fifth successive victory.

Earlier, in humid conditions, openers Scott Dunn (24) and Neil Wood (44) had laid a solid foundation for the Wansbeck side with a partnership of 65 in 18 overs.

After both departed to slip catches by Jaswinder Singh, the Colliers were still on course to break through the 200 barrie,r even when Singh had been caught by Yasin M Hafeez at cover for 19.

However, Doug Potts and Matty Storey both fell in successive overs, then skipper Williams, Simon Prudhoe (44) and Callum Storey also went in a cluster of quick dismissals leaving Ashington on 164-8.

But with a careful Dan Grant content to play a sheet anchor role, Craig Wood chipped in with an invaluable late flourish of 21 before he was run out.

Last man Chris Watson was bowled first ball, with the visitors from Wansbeck closing their innings on 191 with ten balls remaining.

Cowgate 7 points

Ashington 20 points

On Saturday both Ashington sides face Backworth.

The first XI are at home with the seconds away.

Meanwhile the Divisional cup final between Ashington and neighbours Alnwick – originally scheduled to have been staged at Langwell Crescent on Friday, July 26 – has been put back one week and will now take place on Friday, August 2.