Ashington skipper Greg Williams believes his outfit will come back stronger after a dramatic batting collapse against Swalwell on Saturday.
In pursuit of Swalwell’s 246-5, the Colliers were shot out for 88 against a side who after having had their sequence of seven consecutive championships ended last season by Tynedale, are itching to regain the crown.
As a result, the Wansbeck outfit dropped five places and Williams will prepare his squad for Saturday’s tough contest against second placed Shotley Bridge at Langwell Crescent.
Williams said: “We’ll bounce back. This defeat has brought us back down to earth and made us realise that we have got to work harder.
“Our first reverse on the opening day of the season at Lanchester materialised because we did not manage to get enough runs on the board, but today we simply didn’t turn up.”
He added: “For a change I won the toss and put Swalwell into bat and although I didn’t think we bowled too badly, they nevertheless got off to positive start.
“The wicket was good and the game got away from us the first ten to 15 overs, but I thought we pulled it back until it went away from us again near the end.
“However, at one point I thought we would be chasing in the region of 280, so we did well to curtail them to 246, which with the size of the ground and the condition of the pitch was definitely a target which was possible.”
But things certainly did not go according to plan.
“Our batting performance was a disaster from the start as we lost quick wickets,” he said.
“Yes the ball did ‘a bit’ but we didn’t adapt and with victory ruled out of the equation for us it was then a case of looking to collect batting points, but it wasn’t to be.
“I’m confident that the lads will come back stronger from this disappointing defeat.
“We have to get it out of our system and we face a big game on Saturday.
“It’s still early in the season and a couple of wins will make all the difference.”
Ashington make one alteration with Jack Jessop, who missed the game at Swalwell, returning to the side for the unavailable Callum Storey.