The weather was the only winner on Saturday when Ashington’s clash against reigning champions Tynedale was abandoned at 6pm as grey skies and constant rain in the Tyne Valley made the decision a formality.
Already a fascinating contest, the game had cranked up a notch after the Colliers were 128-2 at the half way mark and in a strong position only to suffer a severe batting collapse.
They lost their last eight wickets for a paltry 37 runs to be all out for 165 with nine of their 50 overs remaining.
Unusually the home side began the afternoon session with skipper Thomas Cant, a right arm spinner, opening the bowling from the pavilion end.
But there was no evidence to suggest that a capitulation was likely to happen.
Indeed after a maiden by Cant, Ashington left handers Neil Wood and Anirudh Singh punished anything short to have 30 on the board after only five overs.
Then it all began to go horribly wrong. Singh followed a delivery from William Dagg to get the faintest of nicks and was caught behind by wicketkeeper Jamie Crichton.
The scoring rate was curtailed then in the 12th, Jack Jessop chased a ball down the leg side from Dagg with disastrous consequences as he too was pocketed by Crichton.
Thankfully Wood was playing fluently and he brought up his half century in the 19th with a spectacular six over the deep square leg boundary.
Ashington’s 100 came up in the 21st and they had advanced the score to 125 before a break in play for drinks.
That short interlude proved to be the catalyst for the collapse.
Ben O’Brien skied Curtis Lucas and was caught at point by Cant for 22; Wood, with a century beckoning, had moved onto 77 from 84 balls including 12 boundaries when he edged a wide delivery in the 28th from the same bowler and presented Crichton with a regulation third catch.
When Matty Storey fell in the next caught at first slip by James Rainford and Daniel Grant was also pouched by Callum Barnes, again off a top edge, the visitors had slumped to 145-6.
Skipper Greg Williams and Stephen Boyd played with caution and looked to stabilise the innings, but after adding 16, Boyd was bowled by Barnes.
The tail failed to wag with Callum Storey and Craig Wood falling in the same over to Dagg before Matty Collins was last man out. He was also caught by Rainford leaving Williams unbeaten on 13.
Dagg, one of five players in the Hexham-based side under the age 18, finished with figures of 4-30 from eight overs; Lucas returning 3-57 from 12; Cant 2-33 from nine and Barnes 1-42 from 12.
After the tea interval, rain delayed the start of the home innings until play got under way at 5pm. But openers Connor Fellowes and Crichton only faced 14 deliveries when the rain returned and never relented, forcing the match to be abandoned.
Tynedale 10 points
Ashington 8 points
On Saturday, Ashington are at home to Consett.