Ashington skipper cautious on leading league

Ashington Cricket Club’s Greg Williams was delighted to see his outfit take over the leadership of the Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League A1 table on Saturday following a crushing derby defeat of rivals Bedlington.

But the first XI skipper immediately played down his side’s chances of lifting the championship trophy come mid-September.

Indeed all a cautious Williams would say on the matter was: “Yes, it’s good, but we will certainly not be getting carried away because you win no trophies at this time of the season.

“In the next two weeks we have massive games, and our hardest of the campaign, at home to Swalwell then away to Shotley Bridge.

“There is a long way to go with not many points separating the teams, but we are pleased to be in a top three slot.

“That was our aim from the start and we will see what transpires.”

As for his side’s seven wickets success at the weekend, Williams was relieved to win a vital toss.

“I was aware of the weather forecast, which wasn’t great, with rain due at tea time,” he said.

“We reckoned that the best way to get 20 points was to get through the Bedlington line-up, and that came about after we bowled fabulously and fielded exceptionally well.

“We never missed any chances and put them under pressure from first ball with Stephen Boyd taking two wickets and Callum Storey one before we had to come off for rain.

“As a result, the allocation of overs dropped from 50 to 44 and it meant the bowlers’ maximum was twn overs.

“Matty Collins bowled the best he has done all season and showed what he can do. He was exceptional as he sent seven overs down the bank and finished with 3-19.”

With the dark clouds hovering, Williams believed his side had only one option right from the start of their reply.

“We had to go for it from ball one,” he said.

“We thought we may only have five or six overs to try and score the required runs and lost a couple of wickets before coming off for rain at 24-2.

“We needed another 23 to win and to be honest thought we wouldn’t get back on as we heard of storm like conditions and torrential rain at Newcastle.

“But the weather changed for the better which allowed Ben O’Brien and Dan Grant to steer us home and we are all thrilled to bits and massively chuffed.”

It capped a good weekend for the Langwell Crescent club.

The second XI won the League Cup with victory against Swalwell on Friday night and the following day, Doug Potts’ side, the defending champions of the B1 division, consolidated their place at the top with victory over rivals Bedlington at the same time as the first XI became the new leaders of the A1 division.

And just for good measure, Ashington’s third XI head the ‘C’ Division.