Ashington Cricket Club’s first XI skipper Greg Williams has praised the fighting spirit of his outfit and admits that they are on a high going into Friday night’s Divisional Cup final against old adversaries Alnwick at Langwell Crescent.
However, Williams is fully aware that his side will require all of those qualities for a contest against an Alnwick side which he rates very highly.
He said: “Every one of the lads are looking forward to the cup final.
“We are on a high at the moment and playing some good cricket, and for me it’s like the Ashington side of old where we have 11 lads fighting and backing each other 100 per cent.
“Every player is rooting for his team-mates to do well – and I think this is evident in the field.”
Ashington go into the game as league leaders of the A2 division following Saturday’s win over Greenside, but all rounder Williams is aware of the challenge which the north Northumberland side – who are tucked in fourth place – will present.
“Make no mistake about it, this will be a very tough contest,” he said
“Alnwick are a good side who have some class batsmen and bowlers, and if they come off, especially in the 20 overs format, can cause some damage.
“It will be a hard game and we are under no illusions.”
Alnwick will be taking part in their first cup final for 20 years since they lost to Benwell Hill in the Northumberland County League final at Denton Bank, and skipper Rob Woods revealed that his outfit are equally looking forward to the clash and will travel with an eye on restoring parity after suffering a league defeat against the Colliers recently.
“We played them a couple of weeks ago when we were a few players short,” he said.
“Ashington and ourselves are at the top end of league so it will be a good game, but we are fairly confident that we can overturn the league result and get revenge.
“We have a young bunch of players who are playing really good cricket and who are excited and looking forward to it.”
As well as being skipper, Woods is eyeing the prospect of facing Ashington’s former England and Durham pace bowler Steve Harmison.
“It will be good to play against him and as a batsman it will be a good contest to face him,” he said.
“He bowled against us a couple of weeks ago and took one wicket, so we will be happy if he takes the same haul again.
“We have got a coach full of supporters making the trip and we will be hoping to reward them with a victory.”
The final has a 6pm start.
Ashington will select from: Greg Williams (capt), Neil Wood, Daniel Grant, Simon Prudhoe, Scott Dunn, Adam Nichol, Sonu Singh, Matty Storey, Callum Storey, Craig Wood, Chris Watson, Doug Potts and Steve Harmison.
Alnwick have announced the following side: Rob Woods (capt), Jamie Guy, Gareth Bateman, David Wright, Michael Brewis, Jonathan Roxburgh, Lawrence Reeves, Daniel Graham, Michael Threlfall, Andrew Scott, Robbie Green. 12th man: Chris Woods.