Ashington increase lead at top despite abandonment

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Ashington moved a step closer to their target of promotion and even increased their lead at the top of the league despite rain proving to be the ultimate winner on Saturday.

Greg Williams’ side picked up nine points against Newcastle City at Langwell Crescent.

Nearest rivals Benwell & Walbottle had their match against Seaton Burn completely washed out without a ball being bowled and picked up the statutory five points.

Third placed Alnwick took the same haul against Greenside as they finished short of a first batting point when their match was abandoned.

Visitors Newcastle City elected to bat and got into deep trouble as they slumped to 49-6 by the 19th over.

Sonu Singh – playing against his former club – started the ball rolling by removing Shafiq in the eighth, then in the 18th medium pacer Graham Whitworth was on a hat-trick as he removed Sohail lbw followed by bowling Hussain.

Iqbal fell to Craig Wood but the Gosforth-based outfit recovered through the efforts of Ahmed and Asif Mohammed before Callum Storey removed both in quick succession.

Then after the first ball of the 35th over, with City on 96-8, the rain came which eventually saw the game washed out at 5.30pm.

Whitworth ended with figures of 3-30 from eight overs; Storey 2-20 from 8.1; Wood 2-19 from nine and Singh 1-24 from nine.

The Colliers now head into the final three games of the campaign holding a lead of 23 points.

Greg Williams was left frustrated when rain curtailed play for a second week running – but Ashington Cricket Club’s first XI skipper was nevertheless happy that his side picked up nine points from the clash.

Williams said: “I lost the toss and Newcastle elected to bat, which was ideal from our point of view because I would have put them in, in any case.

“We didn’t bowl too well at the start but then picked up our game in the middle and got eight wickets, so I was happy with that.

“With Benwell & Walbottle’s game completely rained off and Alnwick’s match coming to a halt half way through, we’ve gained four points on everyone.

“I was obviously disappointed that the rain intervened at Langwell Crescent but the weather is beyond our control.”

Ashington nine points

Newcastle City five points

Match sponsor: Mark Aitchison (Bathroom & Tile Company).

Meanwhile the clash between Newcastle City seconds and Ashington seconds never got under way

On Saturday Ashington’s first XI travel for a top of the table encounter against Benwell & Walbottle whilst the seconds are at home to B1 division leaders Ponteland.