Mick ropes them in at Ashington

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Ashington Cricket Club won the Smithson Cup with victory over Tynedale at South Northumberland last summer.

But at the same time, the Roseworth Terrace ground in Gosforth was also thought -and inspirational for Mighty Acorns Mick Brown.

Newcastle-born Mick has been groundsman at Ashington for four years and the former miner, who worked at Ellington and Lynemouth then became a maintenance fitter for 10 years, was so impressed by the boundary rope that his immediate thought was to have the same at Langwell Crescent.

And this season, it hasn’t been so much as Mick rolling out the red carpet but the white rope!

Mick, who will celebrate his 70th birthday in two months, explained: “Having the rope for the boundary is great, simply because it’s flexible. Only last week we had a marquee in place and we weren’t stuck with a permanent line with the beauty of the rope being that you can fetch it in or take it out.

“I noticed the rope at South Northumberland’s ground last season and I was quite impressed with it.

“We raised funds by having a raffle during matches and that, added to a donation made by Ani Singh last year, allowed us to purchase it with the proceeds.”

However, the task is not straight forward. “I thought you would get a coil and wind it back in – but it’s a two-man job putting it out and a three-man job fetching it in – two have got to carry and one wind,” added Mick.

“Admittedly it’s a bit awkward to operate but when it’s out it looks the business and I’m over the moon that I suggested it. I used the proceeds from the raffle to purchase essentials like fertiliser or seed but the germination sheets have been the best thing I have bought because they bring the pitch on within a week.”

Mick, who works tirelessly on the ground alongside former Ashington right arm bowler Arnie Gilholm, joked: “I enjoy the role as groundsman but the only problem I have is that the cricketers get in my way and I cannot get on with my work!”