Winning draw, but Ashington still on learning curve

Ashington 215-9 dec;Gateshead Fell 194-8(winning draw for Ashington by 21 runs)In their third year since joining the NE Premier League, Ashington are still on a learning curve, writes Brian Bennett.

Monday, 21st June 2021, 11:56 am

At Gateshead Fell on Saturday, this contest came to an abrupt anti-climax in the dying embers when the home side – needing 24 runs to win from three overs with two wickets remaining – shut up shop and played for a draw.

The Fell had lost three wickets in the 51st over and with Ashington unable to break through again, what had been an exciting clash fizzled out.

James Harmison helped to bail his side out of a sticky situation with a deserved half century in a little over two hours occupation at the crease.

Not to be overlooked however, was the part opener Jack Jessop played in a fifth wicket stand of 79 with Harmison after the pair came together with Ashington on 61-4 in only the 13th over.

But after Jessop’s dismissal in the 35th over for 72, there was still work to do and Harmison was the backbone behind it before McCafferty declared the innings on 215 after 51 of his sides 55 overs.

Earlier, after being put into bat, Adam Nichol gloved to Rami Singh at slip in the third over. When Scott Pearcey was bowled by William Angus; Ben Harmison was caught behind by wicketkeeper Thomas Pinkney off Roseby and Jack McCarthy was trapped lbw, the Ashington innings was looking fragile – until Jessop and Harmison spearheaded the recovery.

In reply, although Callum Storey pegged back David Daley’s leg stump in the second over, the Fell went along in excess of three an over through Ritchie Smith and Rob Stacey – then were pegged back with James Harmison accounting for both via good catches from McCafferty at mid on and Ben Harmison at cover.

When Bob Rutherford had Dan Hutton stumped by Jack McCarthy in the 37th and an outstanding piece of fielding by McCafferty led to the run out of Oliver Green, Gateshead were on 118-5.

But the pendulum switched again with a partnership of 73 between the flamboyant Roseby and Singh (49 not out). Roseby (50) was bowled first ball of the 51st by Skinner and with Jonathan Conolly and Pinkney quickly following, the Fell opted to bat out the remaining overs.