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Ashington hot on the heels of leaders

24 july 2013.'Generic cricket wicket file picture.
24 july 2013.'Generic cricket wicket file picture.

Ashington remain hot on the heels of the leaders Shotley Bridge in the first division of the Northumberland & Tyneside Cricket League after a comprehensive victory against Lintz at Lumley Gardens on Saturday.

Four of Ashington’s top five batsmen – Dan Grant, Jack McCarthy, Ben O’Brien and Sean McCafferty – struck half centuries while Matty Collins became the first bowler this season to claim five wickets for the Mighty Acorns.

Ben Harmison had no hesitation in electing to bat after winning the toss. However, things went awry at the start with Jack Jessop falling lbw to Kieran Gohery from the first ball of the fourth over.

But from a position of being 1-1, the in-form Grant, alongside Jack McCarthy, not only steadied the boat but also dominated with a partnership of 73 in 12 overs. Grant reached his half-century with a six-over mid-wicket to go alongside 10 boundaries but in spinner Paul Lumley’s first over, the right-hander was caught by Jordan Clennell.

Lumley and Clennell applied the brake before the former accounted for McCarthy on 40. O’Brien and McCafferty upped the tempo again in a delightful feast of runs – 122 in 16 overs – both completing their respective 50s before the latter was caught behind by Joe Bainbridge for 60.

O’Brien – who had hit eight fours and five sixes – quickly followed, caught and bowled low down by Clennell for 87.

Harmison hit a quick-fire 21 before he too fell to a good catch by Gohery off his own bowling. Stephen Boyd (16) and James Harmison (10) kept the runs flowing and then from the last ball of the penultimate over, Ashington crossed the 300 mark before finishing their allotted 50 overs on 307-9.

Gohery and Marcus Peart made a solid start for the home side until Harmison intervened in the sixth over. The skipper took a splendid low catch off his own bowling to send back Peart, then right-armer Collins struck with a flurry of wickets as the home side stuttered to 35-4.

By the close they were 136 all out, Ashington winning by 171 runs.

Collins led the way with 5-33 and James Harmison took 2-14 from five, with Ben Harmison, Ian Sharkey and Stephen Boyd all claiming one wicket each.

*On Saturday, Ashington 1sts are at home to Ryton.