Emotional Ashington skipper says players have '˜done club proud'
Ashington Cricket Club's first XI skipper Greg Williams said he was immensely proud and emotional after the curtain came down on an exceptional season for the Langwell Crescent club.
Williams’ side claimed three of six pieces of silverware, and after the Mighty Acorns had brought the campaign to a close with a six-wicket win over Lanchester, the 37-year-old said: “The lads have done the club proud and as skipper I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
“They have been absolutely fantastic throughout the season and it is quite an emotional moment for me.
“I was involved in the Ashington team who were relegated six years ago, but since then we have come on leaps and bounds.”
Williams, who completed his fifth season as captain, then spoke of his overall delight for the three senior sides who won their respective leagues.
“It has been an outstanding club effort and I’m chuffed to bits,” he added.
“Every single player who has been in either the first, second or third teams deserves the highest praise.”
As for the win over Lanchester, Williams said: “I didn’t think the wicket played badly, but due to the weather, our ground staff [Mick Brown and Arnie Gilholm] were limited with what they could do in the way of preparation.
“The wicket was covered but after I won the toss, it was always going to be a case of putting them in.
“Although we bowled well, they got off to a good start until Matty Collins took a fantastic hat-trick to turn the game on its head.
“Matty bowls aggressively at the stumps all of the time – if you miss the ball he hits the stumps, and it was good for him to finish the season with a nice little buzz.
“We also performed well to keep them down to 117.”
Even when his side were 30-4 in reply, the alarm bells did not ring for the Ashington-born skipper.
“We got off to a funny start, which has happened before this season,” he said.
“But we have got strength in depth and I tend not to worry when we are two or three wickets down because we have got batting in depth.
“Lanchester came at us hard and credit to them. They bowled aggressively and well and came out all guns blazing.
“They put a bit of pressure on us but we reacted. Jack [Jessop] and Ben [Harmison] produced a fantastic partnership on a wicket, which was not easy to bat on.
“It was a pressure situation but they both came off.”
Williams paid tribute to people behind the scenes at the club.
“Everyone both on and off the pitch are included in our success,” he added.
“It’s not just about the players. The chairman [Bob Dunning], the committee, the groundsmen [Mick Brown and Arnie Gilholm], Marni Williams, Michael Thewlis, Steve Nichol and the tea ladies are unsung heroes for the position we find ourselves in.
“There has been outstanding work from all quarters which has ultimately paid off and the club thoroughly deserve the success and plaudits which have come there way.”