Ashington Cricket Club’s first XI skipper Greg Williams has urged his outfit to keep firing on all cylinders with a little over a third of the Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside League season remaining.
The Colliers enter the last eight games in third place and Williams said: “We are there or there abouts and will just try to continue with what we are doing until the end of the campaign and see where we finish up.
“I would have been gob smacked had you told me before the start of the season that we would be sitting third from top at this stage.
“Massive credit to the lads – they have done themselves proud to get us where we are with some good team performances.
“And although Anirudh Singh – our overseas player – has fired on most weeks, it hasn’t been a one man band as other players have chipped in when we have needed them too.
“That’s why it’s been a great team effort so far, and if we can keep that up and finish in the top half of the table, I’ll be more than happy.
“We have let ourselves down on a couple of occasions, but on our day can beat anyone and now we just have to keep on firing.”
Williams heaped praise on his players following their nine wickets victory over Leadgate at Langwell Crescent on Saturday when incredibly, the home skipper lost the toss for the fifth game in a row.
“As it turned out, it was just like at Ryton the previous week – another good toss to lose,” he said.
“I would have batted first had I got the call right because the sun was shining and the pitch looked alright, but nevertheless, we got off to a decent enough start with Callum Storey and Craig Wood both bowling quite well.
“We got the first couple of wickets - then looking on, the taller you are as a bowler and the harder you hit the pitch, the easier it was for the batters.
“Callan McCabe and Sam Stephenson got away well with a good partnership which picked Leadgate back up a little bit, so we brought Anirudh (Singh) and Chris (Watson) on to take the pace off the ball.
“Anirudh bowled a tight ten overs from the Ashbourne Crescent end whilst later on, Peter Finch delivered a crucial spell in the middle of the innings, bowling straight and picking up some vital wickets and I was happy all in all to keep them down to 124 because they were looking to get in the region of 150-160, which could have been interesting on that pitch.”
Ashington’s top order then finished the game off inside 23 overs.
Williams added: “Neil Wood and Anirudh (Singh) got us off to a flier and in games where you are chasing a relatively low score, if you lose a couple of quick wickets early, it can turn into an awkward game for you.
“However, they went out with a positive mind set, taking the game to the Leadgate bowlers straight away and we were quickly 30 without loss after only a handful of overs.
“Anirudh was just superb with another unbelievable knock again and he was backed up with a nice little 20 odd from Jack Jessop as we coasted home.
“But whilst we are all delighted, we know the game of cricket can come back to bite you and we must remain totally focused.”