Colliers fall short due to lack of runs

ASHINGTON fell to their second consecutive defeat of the season, losing to Chopwell by nine wickets on a cool sunny day in the Tyne Valley.

The home side, needing 116 to win, went about their run chase in spirited fashion, taking 21 runs from the first three overs.

However, there was to be no repeat of Ashington’s heroic bowling against Annfield Plain in the previous week, and the innings ended inside 24 overs.

Ashington took only one wicket, that of Hornby, caught in the gully off Boyd in the tenth over with the score on 41.

Vice-captain Stephen Boyd was the pick of the Ashington attack, bowling with real aggression, pace and skill. He beat the bat regularly, but without luck, finishing his eight over spell with 1-29.

Surya Rathore was the most economical of the away side’s bowlers, going for only 16 runs in his five overs.

However, Chopwell were more than a match for the Colliers’ bowling attack, with skipper Anderson, carrying his bat throughout the innings for a gritty 46 runs, ably supported by Meadows with an unbeaten 38.

Earlier in the day, Ashington lost the toss and were put in to bat on a dry, dusty wicket.

The innings started brightly, with Thornton and Jessop adding 18 in the first six overs, before the latter fell leg before wicket in the eighth over.

In-form Greg Williams joined Thornton and added another 20 runs before Thornton gloved a ball that reared off a length, presenting a simple catch to the wicket-keeper with the score on 38.

Andy Gray followed shortly after, edging from the impressive Mansoor for four with the score on 43.

Two more wickets fell without the away side adding a run, with Williams caught at long-on for 13 in the 16th over and Boyd, caught on the point boundary in the following over without scoring.

At 50-5, skipper Michael Thewlis (19) was joined by Grant (21) and the pair added 46 before they fell within an over of each other with the score on 89.

Despite a late rally by the tail, with Whitworth scoring an unbeaten seven, the Colliers’ innings ended on 115 inside 40 overs.

Mansoor finished with figures of 3-31 from his 12 overs, while Stewart took 3-17 off eight and Saini and Anderson finished with 2-27 and 2-10 respectively.

Thewlis said afterwards: “We have not batted to our potential today, and by not putting enough runs on the board, we’ve made it difficult for our bowling attack, which is one of the best in the league, to show us what they are made of.

“We do have the ability in the side to post decent scores, and five of the top seven got starts but did not go on to to post a score.

“It can be difficult in the opening games of the season, when the wickets are not true, but we have to stay calm when the opposition are having good periods with the ball or if the wicket is misbehaving.

“Their skipper – who played and missed countless times during Stephen’s opening spell – demonstrated the sort of determination and concentration that is needed to regularly post 200-plus scores.

“I’m sure we will learn to weather these difficult periods in the game and accept them as part of the game.

“Once we do that, we will bat our full 50 overs and post a decent total and give our bowlers a chance to shine.”