Ashington Cricket Club’s first XI skipper Greg Williams said his side have nothing to fear ahead of their clash Go North East A1 division League Cup final against Swalwell at Langwell Crescent on Friday night.
Williams said: “We have had a decent cup run and lost only one game, and to be honest we weren’t sure if we were going to go through to the semi-finals, so it’s great to end up in the final.”
The Colliers booked their place in midweek with victory over Shotley Bridge.
Williams added: “It was a massive win over Shotley Bridge, who are a good outfit, but obviously Swalwell are a very good team with a lot of batters and bowlers, so it will not be an easy game.
“In the history of the league, Swalwell have won the trophy twice and Ashington once, so we will be looking to level things up.
“Anything can happen and hopefully we can do the business on the night, but we have got nothing to fear.
“We are a good outfit at the 20 overs format of the game and we’ll just see which side comes off best on the night.”
Williams is hoping the match will attract a good crowd.
“I’m hoping the people of Ashington will get right behind us,” he said.
“When we won the A2 Cup against Alnwick on a Friday night two years ago there was a terrific turn out, and it would be great if we could attract the same sort of attendance.”
Swalwell captain Paul Dumighan is adamant that the outcome will be a tight call but insists the best team on the night will win the game.
“We will be approaching the match just like any other cup tie and are looking forward to it,” he said.
“This is the third consecutive season we have been in the final of this competition.
“We have won one and lost one, and obviously are hoping to make it 2-1, but if both teams play to there potential on the night then it will be a close game.”
Dumighan continued: “Ashington are a very good side who have recruited well since they came back up from the A2 division.
“From our point of view, we see Ani Singh and Ben O’Brien as being the danger men with the bat, but they have others who can chip in down the order, whilst Callum Storey is their main threat with the ball in a good varied attack.”
Swalwell have named Dan Brown to fill the void with batter and excellent fielder Mark Gray ruled out through family commitments.
“Dan has impressed in the second team and scored 43 in our tight semi-final win over Leadgate,” said Dumighan, who is also hoping fans of the Derwenthaugh side will lend maximum support.
Meanwhile Swalwell’s long serving scorer Ken Holmes will be in the scorebox.
“Ken is in his 41st season with the club, which speaks volumes for his outstanding service, dedication and loyalty,” added Dumighan.
“Scorers are invaluable and do a great job.”
The teams will line up for a 6pm start as follows: Ashington: Greg Williams (capt), Ben O’Brien, Anirudh Singh, Jack Jessop, Daniel Grant, Matty Storey, Stephen Boyd, Callum Storey, Paul Rutherford, Adam Nichol and Matty Potts.
Swalwell: Paul Dumighan (capt), Chris Hewison, Nicky Phillips, Lloyd Anderson, James Welch, Lee Whitfield, Lee Innes, Guy Saxton, Stephen Smith, Andy Smith and Dan Brown. Twelfth man: Sam Hedley.
Ashington clinched their place after a brilliant all round performance against Shotley Bridge.
Anirudh Singh made a top scoring 59 with Ben O’Brien contributing an unbeaten 44 and Neil Wood 20, whilst Stephen Boyd struck the final ball of the innings for a six as the Colliers posted 151-3.
The visitors kept in touch with the required rate through the efforts of openers Paul Greenwell (38) and Lee Hall (36) before both fell in quick succession.
Callum Storey took 4-25, Paul Rutherford 2-29, Anirudh Singh 1-33 with Boyd’s lone success at a cost of 26 runs nevertheless being a sensational one handed effort off his own bowling to send back Stuart Graham.
Ashington, whose fielding on the night was excellent, reduced Shotley to a final score of 114-8 – 38 runs adrift of their target.