Heavens open to halt play and thwart exciting finale

Greg Williams gets off the mark before the heavens open.
Greg Williams gets off the mark before the heavens open.

The black clouds had a devastating effect on the outcome of this Wellstream Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League Division A2 game.

The downpour prevented any further play with the game poised for an exciting finale.

Ashington, seemingly on course for victory, had been pegged back quite dramatically as they lost three quick wickets against a Whickham side who, even as a result of this drawn game, took over at the top of the A2 division.

Consequently, the Colliers were thwarted by the elements in their quest to get back on track and, in a match already curtailed to 45 overs per side, were held up in mid-afternoon by opener Mick Armstrong and the evergreen Tony Ainley.

The former, having just posted his half century in the 27th over, succumbed when he returned a catch to spinner Chris Watson from the last ball of the 33rd at 105-5.

But Ainley kept the scoreboard ticking over and completed his 50 in the penultimate over before being bowled by Sonu Singh, with Whickham closing on 161-9.

Callum Storey took 4-28, Watson 2-28, Singh 2-41 and James Richards 1-24.

Scott Dunn and Neil Wood got their side off to a terrific start with a half-century-plus partnership but in the 18th over, the Colliers received a double setback.

The openers had appeared to be in control but Dunn danced down the wicket to spinner Daniel Davison and was clean bowled. Then, two overs later, Wood fell to a well-taken low catch at mid-on by Alex McGregor.

Stephen Harmison and Simon Prudhoe got Ashington back on top but the rain clouds were approaching and after Harmison had middled a six into the Ashbourne Crescent end, he was caught on the boundary by McGregor for 26.

With the ball in the air, the batsmen crossed and incredibly from the next delivery Prudhoe scooped his shot around the corner to Jeff Bowman and was dismissed for 18.

When Doug Potts fell blasting a volley to the bowler, Ashington had slipped to 116-5 with Davison claiming all five victims.

Ashington 10 points; Whickham 10 points

Match sponsor: Ian Bell, Kestrel Heating Services.

On Saturday, Ashington meet Newcastle City. The 1st XI are away, the 2nds at home.

Ashington II 226 all out

Whickham II 61 all out

Ashington II won by 165 run s

Ashington Seconds returned to winning ways with an emphatic 165 runs victory over Whickham Seconds at The Glebe ground.

Matty Storey led the way with 82, in-form batsmen Ian Sharkey hit 55 and Adam Nichol 39 as the Wansbeck side closed on 226.

In reply, the homesters had no answer to Craig Wood and Sharkey who ran through the order. Wood finished 5-27 and Sharkey 4-23 with Alex Storeytaking the other wicket.