Ashington Cricket Club clinch Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League Championship

Ashington CC's Greg Williams. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com
Ashington CC's Greg Williams. Picture by Ian Appleby - www.ianapplebyimages.com

The champagne corks were popping at Langwell Crescent afterAshington Cricket Club’s first XI clinched the Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League Championship for the first time since 2001.

The Colliers actually won the trophy without a ball being bowled as their scheduled A1 division match at home to Ponteland was abandoned at the same time as nearest rivals Shotley Bridge were rained off at Consett.

And for the long serving Greg Williams, it was a moment to savour with the rest of his team mates.

Williams who has been at the club for 25 years since joining as a junior is in his fifth year as skipper and he said: “This is a massive achievement for the club.

“We added some good players during the Winter and the club as a whole have come on leaps and bounds.

“We have totally clicked and there is good strength in depth throughout the first, second and third elevens.

“The lads have given 100 per cent – I couldn’t have asked for anything more – and we are deserved winners.”

Williams continued: “I cannot pick out a distinct highlight in the games we have played so far this season but when we came up against Lanchester, Shotley Bridge and Swalwell – three huge fixtures – the lads unquestionably delivered, performing with distinction.

“In this league you have got to do the business week in week out – and in our side, even if one player had an off day with bat or ball, someone else would step up to the plate.

“In a nutshell, I know it’s an old cliché but our success has been built on a team effort – which includes the ground staff and the committee.”

Williams was in the Ashington side, captained by his father Steve, who last won the title 15 years ago.

He said “It seems like an eternity. Through nobody’s fault, the club experienced hard times being relegated and hitting a brick wall but they bounced back with basically the same set of lads and came out of it stronger.

“I have never known an entire club spirit which we have got.

“When we won from the last ball at Shotley Bridge, our second team lads – who had already won there game – sat in the changing rooms and listened to live ball by ball commentary which typifies our togetherness.

“The club are now in a great position – and they fully deserve that.”

Ashington 5 points; Ponteland 5. On Saturday, Ashington travel to Percy Main.