Ashington cricketers in final of Salver

Banks Salver SF:Willington 221-8; Ashington 222-2(Ashington won by 8 wickets)An outstanding performance from Ashington saw them go through to the final of the North East Premier League Banks Salver competition after a convincing eight wickets win over Willington on Bank Holiday Monday, writes Brian Bennett.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 10:35 am

Matty Collins and Cal Storey struck early blows with wickets in consecutive overs to remove both openers Pete Bhabra and Jamie Dass but the home side nevertheless got off to a rapid start through Jake Louth (44) and skipper Reece Carr (26). James Harmison bagged both wickets, having the former well pouched by McCafferty at deep mid off then bowling Carr.

The latter’s dismissal came in the 19th over but Cameron O’Donnell (54) and Joseph Davies (11) added 35 before a slower ball from Matty Potts accounted for the latter and Bob Rutherford had O’Donnell caught by McCafferty on 165-6.

Daniel Gray ended unbeaten on 47 and Lewis O’Donnell struck 19 before the hosts finished on 221-8 from their 40 overs allocation.

Ashington’s reply followed a similar pattern run-wise with McCafferty blasting 54 from 50 deliveries – including five fours and two maximums - whilst Nichol gave great support rotating the strike and steering anything loose outside off stump down to the third man boundary.

McCafferty fell in the 14th over – bowled by Bhabra with the score on 88 – then after a period of consolidation, Nichol and McCarthy picked up the rate and punished the bad ball, the latter whacking back to back sixes in the 25th over. Both batsmen reached their respective half centuries within the space of five minutes of each other.

Nichol was also hitting the ball well but with the target whittled down to 30 runs required, the right hander – after notching nine fours in 72 from 82 deliveries - pulled a short ball from Carr and was superbly caught low down by Charlie Coulthard at fine leg.

But McCarthy continued his dominance and took his tally of boundaries into double figures alongside four maximums as he finished 84 not out.

Scott Pearcey hit the winning run through mid wicket from the third ball of the 35th over –which sent Ashington through to Sunday’s final (September 5) against Premier Division outfit Chester-le-Street at Langwell Crescent. The game starts at 1pm.