Ashington edge rivals

ASHINGTON toppled near neighbours Morpeth in a titanic derby at Langwell Crescent with the Colliers edging home by three runs.

Scott Thornton became the first player to hit a century for the senior side this term as they put back to back wins together.

But this game was one for the connoisseur as dark clouds skirted the ground. It was a major coup that despite one brief smattering of rain play was not interrupted.

Ashington skipper Michael Thewlis lost the toss – his side were consequently asked to bat – but Jack Jessop and Scott Thornton gave their side a great platform with a 44-run stand.

Morpeth made the breakthrough when Jessop edged Horner and was caught behind by Ben Maxted for 26.

Simon Prudhoe joined Thornton and the pair added a further 41 until the latter tried to sweep spinner Paul Elliott and fell lbw.

Thornton, timing the ball well, completed his half century with a single off Elliott in the 25th over but lost Andrew Gray shortly afterwards when the right hander was clean bowled by Jonny Craigs.

Stephen Boyd came in at number five and along with Thornton the duo kept the scoreboard ticking over with a partnership of 72.

In the 44th over, Boyd top edged and was caught at mid-wicket by Sander for 28 before Thornton reached a well deserved century which included 11 fours from 137 balls.

However, in the 47th over, Thornton, who had occupied the crease for almost three hours, nicked a delivery from Gary Christie behind to Maxted without adding to his three figures.

As Ashington looked for a late boost to their total, Greg Williams, Daniel Grant and Surya Rathore all went in quick succession with skipper Thewlis (6 not out) and Graham Whitworth (3 not out) taking the side to a final total of 208-8.

Christie took 3-34 from nine overs; Mikey Craigs 2-32 from eight whilst Horner, Elliott and Craigs all picked up one wicket each.

The Colliers made a great start when from the final ball of Boyd’s first over, Sander was bowled for two.

Then Craigs set off for a second run and was caught out of his ground by a direct throw from Jessop.

Boyd struck again in removing Forster for 19 in the 15th, then Craig Wood bowled the dangerous Maxted.

Ben Harmison nonchanantly eased his way to a half century before coming down the wicket to play a loose shot to Boyd and was bowled for 66.

Harmison’s exit proved to be a massive turning point.

Fifteen runs later Boyd struck again, trapping Craigs, who had moved onto 34, leg before, then Ingram was bowled by a quicker ball from spinner Thornton at 165-7.

Forty-four were still required from the final ten overs.

Jessop ran in to throw down the stumps to account for Christie in the 46th and in the penultimate over, Fazal was rapped low on the pads by Wood with umpire Phil Tait giving him out.

Morpeth needed eight to win off the last over and after four singles came from the first five balls, Surya Rathore bowled a dot ball to clinch a memorable win for the Colliers.

Boyd was top bowler with 4-49 from a maximum 15 overs stint; Wood took 2-40 and Thornton 1-43 whilst Rathore’s contribution in his second spell – as he conceded only five runs from three overs in his second but crucial spell – cannot be underestimated.

But apart from the result, the spectators lapped up what was one of the best and absorbing games of cricket at Langwell Crescent for many years.

Match ball sponsor: Dussart’s Trophies of Ashington.

On Saturday, Ashington travel to face Percy Main.

Ashington 19 points

Morpeth 9 points