McCarthy century in Ashington defeat

Over the years, games between Shotley Bridge and Ashington have always been well contested affairs. Saturday’s latest instalment at The Spa didn’t disappoint either.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 11:21 am

A century maker on either side; more than a handful of big hitting sixes; a plethora of cracking cover drives accompanied by plenty of thrills and spills were all included on a day when a couple of England players past and present – Paul Collingwood and Mark Wood respectively – were proud to wear the colours of their hometown clubs.

Shotley had the Mighty Acorns reeling inside the opening overs. Right arm paceman Matty Potts pegged back Scott Pearcey’s off stump with an in-swinger from the last ball of the first over then after playing a lovely cover drive for four, Wood played on to a delivery from Christopher Robb.

That dismissal came in the fourth over and in the next, Jack Jessop was on his way back after falling lbw to Potts at 16-3. Ben Harmison and Jack McCarthy staged the first of two recoveries with a stand worth 58 but the Colliers were in trouble again with the score advanced onto 74. Ben Harmison clipped a ball from Jack Rowley to Ross Burdon at mid on then next ball, Rowley bowled James Harmison off stump.

However, McCafferty joined McCarthy and the pair lifted Ashington spirits with a terrific partnership of 141. McCafferty brought up his half century with a drive over long off – the last of his three sixes but McCarthy went on to register his first ever century for the club which included 12 fours and three maximums. His fifty came in the 32nd over then he reached his hundred after taking a single in the 46th.

However, when McCafferty lofted Robb and was caught inside the ropes for 56, it led to a quick flurry of wickets as Ashington lost their last five for only four runs and finished all out on 219. Daniel Anderson spearheaded Shotley’s run chase and collected his fifty in the 21st over out of a total of 74.

Then next over, Ashington got the breakthrough they desperately wanted when Rowley was well caught by McCafferty who made up a tremendous amount of ground before taking the catch at long on. Ironically, the home sides pattern of runs matched their Wansbeck-based opponents as the hundred came up in the 27th over.

Shortly afterwards, Potts lofted a delivery from Ben Harmison which was well pouched in the deep by Cameron Skinner with the score on 107.

The Durham outfit had been up with the rate but accurate spells from Ian Sharkey and James Harmison slowed the pace down and brought Ashington back into the game. Shotley required 60 from 12 overs and after Anderson had reached his ‘ton’ his dismissal in the 41st on 171 gave the Colliers a glimmer of hope.

The opener pulled a ball from Callum Storey to the square leg boundary where McCafferty leapt off the ground to take a good catch. Collingwood came in at number five to partner Milburn but with 20 runs needed, the latter was bowled middle stump by the returning Ben Harmison.

However Collingwood (26 not out) and Ross Burdon (8 not out) led Shotley home to clinch victory by six wickets.