Heavy rain wipes out Ashington Bedlington derby

The weather proved to be the winner at Langwell Crescent on Saturday in the Ashington derby against Bedlington.

The eagerly anticipated first ever local derby between the two sides in the A1 division of the Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League was called off without a ball being bowled.

Following heavy and incessant rain which began on Friday evening, the game was given the thumbs down by the umpires quarter of an hour after the scheduled 1.30pm start.

Respective skippers Greg Williams and Sean McCafferty were left frustrated but totally in agreement with the decision.

Williams said: “I got up at 8am and really for us to have any chance, the weather needed to be dry. But it was still raining and didn’t really stop until 11am.

“We took the covers off but with the amount of rain which had fallen, it got underneath the covers.

“To be fair, we brought the umpires and Bedlington through because they were local, but in truth the odds were 80-20 per cent chance of the game being abandoned.

“Our groundsman Mick Brown and a few volunteers had worked hard in the morning and they did as much as they could, but you can only do so much, you cannot cover the entire field.

“In the final analysis it just wasn’t going to be safe to play.”

Bedlington skipper McCafferty said: “The weather had been horrendous with a lot of rain from Friday night.

“I arrived at Langwell Crescent at 9am and even then I thought there was no chance of the game going ahead.

“We tried purely and simply because both sides wanted to play and we were originally going to leave any decision until 2.30pm, but it was clearly not fit.

“The ends of the wicket and the wicket itself was wet and there was no wind to dry anything out.

“It’s disappointing but there was no other decision to be made.

“Being a local derby there was a lot of people going to come along and watch, but it wasn’t to be.”

McCafferty and his squad now prepare for Saturday’s home clash against Alnmouth & Lesbury.

“It’s a big game for us because they too are hovering near the wrong end of the table,” he said.

“But we just need a win to set the ball rolling and give us our confidence back.”

Ashington travel to face Swalwell with Simon Prudhoe returning for Matty Storey.

Meanwhile, in a reduced 40 overs contest, the second team fixture at Hirst Head went ahead with Ashington bowling the hosts out for 86.

Lee Frost top scored with 38 whilst Ian Sharkey claimed 3-12.

In reply, Adam Nichol hit 24 and Michael Thewlis an unbeaten 21 as the Colliers got home by four wickets.

This weekend in the B1 division, Bedlington seconds travel to Alnmouth whilst Ashington seconds entertain Swalwell.