The decisive turning point in the Ashington’s victory over Leadgate on Saturday arrived immediately after a break for refreshments.
And it was coincidental yet highly ironic that as Ashington Cricket Club hosted a real ale and cider festival at Langwell Crescent over the weekend.
Despite losing Robbie Hockaday from the second ball of the innings, caught by Matty Collins at mid-wicket after miscuing a hook shot, the home side, who had been put into bat, staged a highly commendable recovery through Luke McCabe and Callan McCabe.
Indeed the pair made light of a green coloured wicket to severely punish anything bowled short or too full and had moved the score onto 39 in the 11th over when the former top edged Callum Storey and was aught inside the boundary by Collins for 23.
The Leadgate innings continued to prosper through Sam Stephenson and Callan McCabe and the duo had added 72 when drinks were taken after 27 overs.
“Drinks brings wickets” uttered Ashington’s Simon Prudhoe to his team-mates before play resumed, and he was proved right.
Callum Storey returned from the pavilion end for Paul Rutherford and with his first delivery Stephenson (37) drove to Matty Storey at cover point who took a fine low catch.
Callan McCabe completed an excellent half century but lost partners at the other end as Ashington hit back.
Ross Burdon was an lbw victim for Anirudh Singh as he attempted a reverse sweep; David Richardson was caught by Prudhoe at mid-on then Daniel Gowland lofted to Matty Storey in the covers.
McCabe had advanced onto 62 before he clipped a delivery from Rutherford around the corner and was caught at fine leg by Callum Storey.
That was in the 43rd over with the hosts on 147-7, and after two stumpings by Daniel Grant coupled to a direct throw from Jack Jessop to run out Aaron McCabe, Leadgate were bowled out in the last over for 174, losing their last seven wickets for 39.
Callum Storey returned 3-46; Singh 2-31; Rutherford 2-46 and Matty Storey 1-2.
With Neil Wood unavailable, Jack Jessop opened the Ashington innings with Singh and the pair established a terrific platform from which to build.
In only the second over, Singh struck a six and the runs continued to flow at a rate of five an over.
However in the 16th, and after a partnership of 86, Jessop, on 40, danced down the wicket and was stumped by wicketkeeper Jack Thackary off Gowland.
Prudhoe struck a boundary but next ball clipped one from Gowland straight to Hockaday at mid-on.
Ben O’Brien came in at number four and figured in a stand worth 51 with Singh until the latter hoisted the fifth ball of the 27th over and was caught and bowled by Gowland for 73, an innings which included five fours and four sixes.
O’Brien and Daniel Grant saw the Colliers to victory, O’Brien launching his third six in a knock of 38 to seal the result.
Leadgate 4 points
Ashington 20 points
On Saturday Ashington firsts are at home to Lanchester.