Ashington seconds clinch league title without playing

Ashington Cricket Club’s second XV clinched the Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League’s B1 division championship on Saturday.

And this despite their away game at Newcastle City being called off following heavy rain.

The Colliers only required five points, which were duly secured as it is the mandatory haul awarded to both teams for a postponed fixture.#

But as the title returns to Langwell Crescent for the first time in four seasons, skipper Doug Potts has set his squad another target with two games of the campaign remaining whilst demanding attitudes remain unchanged.

“Naturally we are over the moon after reaching our first goal, which was to win the league,” he said.

“Our next aim is to go through the season unbeaten, so there will still be a determination for us to win the last two games.

“There will be no slackness in the camp with the lads remaining focused on doing there jobs – and doing them right.

“And as we face last year’s champions Ponteland then Shotley Bridge, we know they will be hard games.”

Apart from his side lifting the title, 45-year-old Potts, in his third season with the club and first as second XI captain, has been highly impressed by a group of the youngsters at the club, whom he firmly believes will blossom even further.

He said: “I have enjoyed the campaign but I have been greatly impressed and encouraged by some of younger lads who have come on and have performed and contributed very well.

“Ian Sharkey, Alex Storey, Matthew Potts and wicketkeeper Jack McCarthy have all had tremendous seasons, and over the next two to three years I’d like to think they will develop into first team players.”

Potts had no hesitation in declaring that the best side in the league have won the golden crown.

“I have no doubts on that score,” he said.

“We proved that after the way we performed against the likes of Ponteland, Lanchester and Tynedale.

“At Ponteland, we defended 150 and put them out for less than 60, whilst against Lanchester, who scored 180, we knocked the runs off without losing a wicket.

“Tynedale are a good side yet we dismissed them out for under 80.

“We have also bossed games through the season and without doubt have deserved to win the league.”

Potts is already looking forward to the 2015 campaign.

He added: “A lot of games have been rained off this year meaning we lost the chance to play in some competitive games like at Tynedale and Annfield Plain, games like that will really test the ability of our young and older players.

“Hopefully next season we will see if we can adapt to going to places who have strong sides and come away with a result.

“Already we are looking to build on our success and apart from defending our crown next year, a good cup run would also be nice because we want to win every game and competition we enter.”