The word brilliant came to the fore on Saturday at the quaint surroundings of Ashley Park as the curtain was raised on the newly sponsored Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League season.
On a day which saw Ashington mark their return to the A1 division, brilliant was the only way to describe the Colliers’ maximum 20 points victory – without overseas player Anirudh Singh.
Also the individual innings from Ashington’s experienced campaigner Neil Wood and Jack Jessop, the latter who has just come back to the club.
The opening five overs burst from the ever impressive right arm pace bowler Callum Storey as he single handedly skittled through the Lanchester top order – including taking a hat-trick – to reduce them to 18-5, was also a highlight, as was skipper Greg Williams’ catch off his own bowling to dismiss Les Dixon.
The Durham club – who finished the last campaign in a highly respectable fifth position – should be commended for their efforts in making the ground playable on a day when other sides in the area had their games cancelled.
Ashington were put into bat but suffered an early loss when Daniel Grant was caught by Jones off Dixon in the second over.
The setback did not unnerve Wood, who hit the ball hard, or Simon Prudhoe, and they had moved the score onto 45 when the latter edged behind to Storey.
Wood and Jessop then took control but in the 22nd over, left hander Wood was bowled middle stump by Taylor for 48, an innings which included six boundaries and one six.
Ben O’Brien and Sonu Singh went cheaply, but through the efforts of Jessop and Scott Dunn, the Colliers got back on track.
Jessop eventually succumbed to a caught and bowled with eight boundaries included in 60 – his half century had come from 58 balls – whilst Dunn made 22 and skipper Williams 23 as the visitors closed on 199-8 from a reduced allocation of 45 overs.
Then it was the Callum Storey show as the right armer, steaming in like a train, ripped through the cream of the Lanchester side as he unbelievably claimed all five wickets as the home side capitulated to 18-5 inside the first seven overs.
The youngster made the perfect start by trapping Jones leg before from the third ball of the reply. Then after Ahmed had been caught behind from the last delivery of the fifth over, Patterson saw his off stump pegged back and Taylor his leg stump before Green also fell lbw just as the dark clouds which had hovered, eventually brought rain.
After a brief interlude, Halliday succumbed to Storey at 23-6 – before Lanchester’s Storey (20), Les Dixon (27) and Kev Dixon (39) dug deep and made Ashington work hard, the latter two adding 52 for the eighth wicket.
Colliers newcomer Peter Finch deservedly took his first scalp in the A1 division as he had Storey caught at cover by Neil Wood before Williams ended Les Dixon’s occupation of the crease and Callum Storey made a catch at deep mid-on to dismiss Kev Dixon.
Then from the last ball of the 39th over, Murray was caught behind by Grant off Singh, which wrapped up the victory.
Storey’s final analysis read 6-28 from ten overs.
Lanchester 6 points
Ashington 20 points
On Saturday Ashington 1st XI are at home to Ryton with the second XI away to Whickham.
Ashington seconds saw their home game against Lanchester seconds called off due to an unfit ground.
Junior training commences at Ashington’s Langwell Crescent ground on Saturday, May 3. Registration starts at 9.45am with training, provided by qualified coaches, following at 10am.