John Turnbull smashed a century which spearheaded a recovery mission by Ashington seconds in their North East Premier League Division 2 match away to Whitburn on Saturday, the game ending in a ‘winning draw’ for the Northumbrians.
Stand-in skipper Bob Rutherford looked on worryingly as Michael Levison and Michael Thewlis fell cheaply to Mason Bell and Elliott Hearn respectively and when Bell also accounted for Thomas Luke, the visitors were on a shaky 27-3.
Enter Turnbull to the wicket and he changed the whole complexion of the game. Supported initially by Matty Potts (25) then James Lovat (34), Turnbull dominated to steer his side out of trouble.
Turnbull carried his bat through finishing on a terrific 109 from 114 balls and included 16 fours and two sixes.
Ashington were bowled out for 221 from the fifth ball of the 54th over.
“John Turnbull was magnificent,” said Rutherford, “He batted straight and defended when he had too whilst putting the loose ball away well."
The home side finished well adrift on 137-9 but because they didn’t bowl Whitburn out, the game finished as a winning draw to Ashington.
Afterwards, Turnbull said any thoughts of smashing a hundred never crossed his mind in the early stages:
“I’ve had a scratch start to the season and my first goal was to get off the mark and hang in there,” he said, “I wanted to have a partnership with somebody and that materialised when I was at the wicket with Matty Potts and James Lovat. We were behind the rate at one point then Matty (Potts) and myself got us a bit of stability. James (Lovat) then hit a quick fire 35 which upped the run rate.”
Ashington-born Turnbull continued: “I grew in confidence and by the time I had reached 30, I had settled down and was putting bat on ball.” Further partnerships with stand-in skipper Bob Rutherford and last man Jonny Lillico saw Turnbull reach his fifty before he went on to a century.
“I was very nervous during the 90’s. However it was a great feeling when I got to three figures and I’ve got to be honest and say that I was pretty proud of myself. There was a lot of relief but I also wanted to show people that I could do it.”