Ashington make it six unbeaten
Ashington stretched their unbeaten run to six matches on Saturday and remain top of the first division of the Dukes ECB NE Premier League when they registered a winning draw against Sunderland at Langwell Crescent.
On several occasions, dark clouds hovered over the ground producing the odd spot of rain which threatened to interrupt play but a full game of 105 overs was contested, even if the outcome did not lead to an outright victory.
Put into bat, the Mighty Acorns made a solid start with Cameron Steel and Jack Jessop having an opening stand of 54. When the latter was bowled for 18, Steel and Adam Nichol continued to build on the foundation in another profitable stand but when both fell to Hamza Tahir in the same 35th over the Colliers had to consolidate with Ben Harmison and Jack McCarthy at the wicket.
The pair were going along nicely until Mark Turner produced a sensational one-handed catch off his own bowling to send back Harmison for 19. However, led by the aggressive batting of McCarthy, who smashed 37 before he was run out in the penultimate over, the home side stepped on the accelerator in the closing stages to finish on 180-8.
Sunderland’s reply started well but the picture changed dramatically as Ashington took three quick-fire wickets. courtesy of Matty Collins (twice) and Callum Storey. A timely double from Paul Rutherford led to the visitors tumbling to 64-5.
Steel’s 10 overs of leg spin saw him pick up two wickets with Harmison accounting for the scalp of the top scoring Harte (39). Harmison then caught off the bowling of Collins (3-23).
However, although Ashington had their opponents nine wickets down, they were left frustrated as Elliot Smith and Zaheer Shahbaz safely negotiated the final four overs.