Ashington still on heels of leaders after narrow win

Captain Greg Williams guiding Ashington CC to a three-wicket win over Ponteland. Picture by Ian Appleby -
Captain Greg Williams guiding Ashington CC to a three-wicket win over Ponteland. Picture by Ian Appleby -

Ashington remain on the heels of league leaders Swalwell after they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against relegation threatened Ponteland at Langwell Crescent on Saturday.

With four games of the campaign remaining, Swalwell remain in pole position 13 points ahead of the Colliers.

Despite the incessant rain on Friday, the game got under way at the scheduled starting time with home skipper Greg Williams inserting the visitors after winning the toss.

An opening stand of 61 inside 21 overs frustrated the hosts until Matty Collins made the breakthrough, having John Davidson caught by Ben O’Brien for 43.

Paul McCreedy was run out without troubling the scorers but Ponteland were still in a good position at 71-2 at the half way mark.

Williams rotated his bowlers to good effect and with the penultimate delivery of the innings, Stephen Boyd bowled last man Andy Denyer to leave Ponteland all out for 180 with Ifi Fazal (38), Wayne Ritzema (33) and Niall Penfold (26) the main contributors.

Storey took 3-49; Collins 2-19; Singh 2-37; Boyd 1-32 and Rutherford 1-40.

Ashington’s reply was cautious and they were in trouble at 61-4 just ahead of the drinks break, losing Anirudh Singh (16), Jack Jessop (6), Neil Wood (27) and Daniel Grant (0).

O’Brien and Michael Thewlis added 40 but when the former, who had started to open out, fell to a juggling catch inside the boundary edge by Fazal for 40, then Thewlis (12) skied Waters in the next over and was caught by Appleby, Ashington’s victory hopes appeared to be dashed as they required 76 from 13 overs.

But Williams produced a skipper’s knock at the right time and was ably assisted by Boyd in a match-winning stand of 68.

Boyd was run out for 27 in the 48th as the hosts required seven to win, but Paul Rutherford, promoted up the order to number nine, struck a four in Niall Penfold’s final over.

Williams took a single from the opening delivery of the last over then Rutherford clipped the ball through for a couple which clinched victory.

On Saturday, Ashington are away to Percy Main.

Match sponsor: Kevin and Judith Scovell, Cortech Fire and Security Systems.

Ashington 20 points

Ponteland 7 points