Alnmouth & Lesbury consolidated their position at the top of the Wellstream Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League A2 table after a four wickets victory over Ashington – thanks largely to a captain’s innings from Tom Vickers.
Vickers went to the wicket with his side at a perilous 6-2 in only the fifth over.
He then looked on as partner Rich Neil succumbed to an lbw shout from a delivery which nipped back into him from Matty Collins – at 18-3 – but right-hander Vickers found a perfect batting colleague in Johnny Ridley.
The pair, after chipping away in pursuit of Ashington’s modest total of 164, put on a century partnership for the fourth wicket which swung the pendulum back in their favour and deflated their opponents from Wansbeck.
The Colliers – put into bat by Vickers who had won the toss – made a slow start then found themselves not only desperate for runs but also in trouble following the departure of Neil Wood, Adam Nichol and Simon Prudhoe.
The dismissal of the latter – caught behind by who else but that man Vickers – almost immediately after drinks at the half-way mark, saw the Colliers on 62-3 as they not only found it difficult to penetrate the field but also knock the home bowlers off a steady and consistent line and length.
In the 37th over, Doug Potts, having posted a leg side six only two balls earlier, blasted a volley return to spinner Paul Straker at 87-4 then Scott Dunn, having dug in for 29, clipped a tame catch to Rich Neil at mid wicket.
And the only reason why the Colliers accelerated with great gusto towards the end – taking 51 from the last six overs – was a fighting and determined knock from Greg Williams who included three fours and two sixes in 44.
The blast from the skipper at least put his side in with a shout – which appeared to be rubber stamped as Sonu Singh, Matty Collins and James Richards made incisions early on.
However, although Ridley contributed 41, it was Vickers who occupied the crease for two and a half hours hitting five fours and one six in an unbeaten 78 – his half century coming from 96 balls – who made the most telling contribution despite Callum Batey’s cover drive from the third ball of the final over clinching victory.
In midweek, Alnmouth defeated Ashington by five runs in an A2 league cup match.
Scores: Alnmouth 107-4 (Paul Straker 32); Ashington 102-7 (Ian Sharkey 38 not out).
On Saturday Ashington take on Whickham. The 1st XI are at home with the seconds away.