Williams and Potts rescue Ashington innings

Stephen Harmison rips into the Seaton Burn innings, where he took five wickets for Ashington CC.

Stephen Harmison rips into the Seaton Burn innings, where he took five wickets for Ashington CC.

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Ashington sustained their push for promotion on Saturday when they claimed a maximum 20 points victory over Seaton Burn at the Recreation ground.

However, whilst the margin of 70 runs appears comfortable enough, the Colliers were in no small way hugely indebted to skipper Greg Williams and Doug Potts who performed a rescue package in the middle of an innings which had seen the Wansbeck outfit crumble to 35-6 inside the first hour.

That’s when the pair came together to try and retrieve what had seemed like a lost cause.

And 80 minutes later, after a partnership of 139, it was mission accomplished.

A defiant Potts initially took charge as he hit deep, but Willams then weighed up the situation and put his own stamp on affairs as the duo gradually steered the Ashington ship into calmer waters.

Williams had lost the toss on what turned out to be a slow wicket, but not even the skipper could have visualised what was to happen as the visitors clearly struggled to come to terms with the conditions.

Losing Scott Dunn, Adam Nichol, Sonu Singh and Steve Harmison inside the initial overs was hard to take, but when Neil Wood and Matty Storey fell in the same over, the former having ground out 18, it looked as if the lowly placed hosts were on course to spring a shock.

But cue Potts and Williams, who adapted to the wicket.

It was Williams who reached his half century first in the 37th over, and the skipper had despatched seven fours and five sixes in a magnificent 81 when he finally departed, caught at cover by Cliff Lyall off Ryan Carr.

Two balls later, Potts, who brought up his 50 in the 39th over, also succumbed having plundered ten boundaries and one six in a brilliant 68, caught off a skier by Adam Stoker at mid-wicket.

However, the pair had changed the whole complexion of the game, and with late contributions of 13 apiece from Ian Sharkey and Callum Storey, the visitors were happy to close on 204 all out, with last man Chris Watson run out in the 48th over.

Chris Weldon and Andrew White were the mainline bowlers who had wreaked havoc in the first part, plunging Ashington into all sorts of trouble.

The pair ended with figures of 4-18 from 15 overs and 2-40 from 11.5 overs respectively, whilst Ryan Carr chipped in with a late 3-16.

Openers Alan Jennison and Richie Kyle set about their task in a positive fashion against Callum Storey and Sonu Singh to put third from bottom Seaton Burn up with the rate.

Indeed, with the score advanced on to 60, the 13th over proved to be lucky for the Colliers as they achieved the breakthrough in the most unlikely manner.

Jennison on 23 having seemingly clipped a boundary off Harmison, in doing so, stepped onto his stumps and dejectedly trundled back to the dressing rooms.

A couple of deliveries later, Jason Brown was caught by Callum Storey before the hosts lost a spate of wickets in quick succession, tumbling from 74-2 to 84-8, including Kyle who fell to a superb catch by Singh for 38.

Harmison and Matty Storey were the chief destroyers, the former going nap as he ended with 5-38 from 15 overs whilst medium pacer Storey collected 4-39 from a similar stint.

With league leaders Backworth and second placed Alnwick both claiming victories against Whickham and Morpeth respectively, the positions at the top of the league remained unchanged with the Colliers tucked in third place.

Seaton Burn seven points, Ashington 20 points.

On Saturday, Ashington’s first XI will be involved in a top of the table clash when they travel to face old adversaries Alnwick, with the second XI at home to Annfield Plain in the B1 division.