Paul Rutherford took his second five-fer of the season in Ashington’s eight wickets victory over Ryton on Saturday.
The slow bowler – who earlier in the campaign against Stocksfield at Langwell Crescent, captured his 500th league wicket to join an elite hall of fame – had taken a nap hand with 5-37 against Alnmouth & Lesbury at the beginning of last month.
Rutherford set himself a target of 40 league wickets before the start of the summer and his latest haul, 5-42 from nine overs, took his tally to 37 but typically the popular left-armer - who recently celebrated his 47th birthday – was more delighted about another maximum points victory for the Mighty Acorns.
“Today, I bowled well at times,” he said. “It was difficult because the boundaries were short and straight and obviously as a spin bowler I have got to try and get the ball up to the batsmen. There was plenty of turn but I was also indebted to three fantastic catches, two by Ben O’Brien and the other from Ben Harmison. It was pleasing to get a five-fer but more important that we got maximum points.”
He continued: “It’s making for an exciting finish to the season especially as we have got two of the top four sides to play at home (Swalwell & Shotley Bridge). Despite the fact we have lost three games, we have been a bit unlucky having two others rained off. Things are going well - we are chasing the leaders - and there’s always pressure on a club when you are at the top.”