Last ball heartache for Ashington in cup final

Ashington lost the A1 division cup to Swalwell with the game decided on the last ball.

On one hand it was jubilation for Swalwell, on the other, heartache for the Colliers.

Chris Hewison, who contributed half of his side’s runs, could barely watch the final six deliveries.

With 72 to his name, compiled from a 55-ball knock including three fours and four sixes, and after galvanizing the innings, he chanced a single from the final ball of the penultimate over to get on strike only to be run out by a brilliant piece of fielding by Jack Jessop, who running in from square leg and with only one stump to aim at, broke the wicket.

The visitors then required seven to win. Three singles ensued then from the fourth ball Adam Nichol swooped to run out Nicky Phillips as the batting pair attempted a second.

Three wanted off two, skipper Paul Dumighan clipped a couple to tie the scores.

If Swalwell failed to score from the last ball the game would go Ashington’s way by virtue of them losing fewer wickets, but Dumighan found a gap through square leg to wrap things up.

The Colliers had made a healthy start with 27 on the board inside five overs.

But that’s when they lost Anirudh Singh, who was the subject of an outstanding one-handed catch behind by wicketkeeper Lloyd Anderson diving to his left.

Jessop looked in fine fettle from the off and with Ben O’Brien striking some big blows, the pair added 78 in 11 overs.

The latter was caught on the boundary by Smith for 44, but to swell the total, Jessop (39 not out) was partnered by skipper Greg Williams then Stephen Boyd, the latter with a late cameo of 20, who hit blows over the ropes which enabled Ashington to close on 142.

The visitors were up with the rate and Hewison and Anderson were in control until a change of bowling altered the logistics.

‘Bob’s your man’ shouted youngster Alex Storey from the boundary edge as Paul ‘Bob’ Rutherford loosened up to bowl. And the left arm spinner broke through with his first ball as he lured Anderson down the wicket and he was stumped by Daniel Grant for 24.

Lee Innes joined Hewison but after Swalwell had reached the half way mark on 66-2, he fell to the same combination.

The visitors reached 100 in the 15th over as Hewison struck successive sixes off Rutherford, the second which brought up his 50.

A run a ball was required but in the 16th Matty Storey was brought into the attack and he claimed the wicket of Whitfield by virtue of Grant claiming his third stumping of the innings.

Callum Storey effected the run out of Welch; Brown was caught behind then Jessop steamed in to end Hewison’s superb knock as the tension reached fever pitch.

Supporters were on the edge of their seats and Ashington had renewed hope – until Dumighan broke their hearts.