McCafferty and Jessop pile up runs in opening stand for Ashington
Sean McCafferty and Jack Jessop featured in a magnificent opening partnership of 206 on Saturday as Ashington crushed visitors Gateshead Fell at Langwell Crescent in the North East Premier League’s first division, writes Brian Bennett.
Skipper McCafferty led the way smashing 104 off just 84 balls whilst Jessop scored 80 from 96 deliveries. Both batsmen hit 12 boundaries as they relentlessly ripped the visitors bowling attack apart for almost two hours.
However the achievement is not a first for the club in its 129th year having been accomplished on at least two previous occasions when Ashington were members of the Northumberland League. In 1986, Richard Dreyer (102) and Bob Dunning (101) hammered on 211 on home soil against Percy Main in 50 overs then five years later, Scott Kay (143) and Dreyer (120) blazed 270 at Alnwick.
Ironically, McCafferty – who has opened the innings on previous occasions - had promoted himself to the top of the order and he said: “One hundred partnerships are good but to go on to reach 200 is some achievement and I was definitely proud. From my point of view it was nice to be at the other end and watch Jack Jessop bat. I thought he was outstanding – although to be fair he has been all season.”
Two overs after reaching three figures, McCafferty was dismissed and he added: “I was disappointed when I was out. It was a full toss and it should have been smacked for six but I got it high on the bat and the ball just went straight up into the air."
The foundation had been laid - and with contributions from Jack McCarthy (18), Ben Harmison (24), James Harmison (42) and a belligerent unbeaten 38 from Adam Nichol, the Mighty Acorns ended their 50 overs on 351-7 – which is thought to be a new record score at Langwell Crescent.
In reply, the Fell’s top order all fired with the top five batsmen all making starts. Openers Thomas Pinkney and Richard Smith both hit 24, Robert Stacey (15), Malik Javed (29) and Daniel Hutton (18) whilst Ben Harmison pouched a stunning catch in the deep to send back Roseby at 125-6.
Medium pace bowler turned spinner James Harmison yet again impressed taking 4-15 from 16.4 overs whilst Bob Rutherford (2-29), Matty Collins (2-57), Cal Storey (1-13) and Cam Skinner (1-30) were also successful as Gateshead Fell were bowled out for 153.