Nichol and Collins star for Colliers in promotion push
Adam Nichol and Matty Collins both turned in outstanding performances with bat and ball respectively as Ashington got their promotion bid in the first division of the Dukes ECB North East Premier League back on track with victory against Gateshead Fell on Saturday.
Nichol hit a brilliant unbeaten 83 – his highest score of the summer – whilst the accuracy from right arm pace merchant Collins saw him claim a magnificent and first-ever seven wickets haul in his career.
The win by the Mighty Acorns – who collected their first 30 points maximum haul of the campaign – came a week after they had suffered their first reverse against Castle Eden and moved them back up to second in the table.
Jack Jessop and McCafferty set the tone. After Jessop (36) had dragged a delivery from Christopher Taylor onto his stumps, the skipper and Nichol continued in the same vein but in the 27th over, McCafferty’s innings came to a disappointing end when he spooned up a catch to David Daley off Andrew Porter one run short of what would have been a deserved half century.
Nichol and Ben Harmison continued Ashington’s runs feast with an excellent stand of 114 inside 20 overs before left hander Harmison was bowled by Angus for 62. When McCafferty declared with the score on 269 after 48 overs, Jack McCarthy had added a quick fire 20 whilst Nichol – who in the latter part of his knock became more aggressive.
Ashington – and Collins – could not have made a better start as the bowler trapped Taylor leg before from the first ball of the visitors reply. However, through the efforts of Daley, Richard Smith and Malik Javed, the visitors hit back. Daley was caught behind by McCarthy off Harmison for 26 then Smith and Javed added 71 in 16 overs.
Ashington needed a breakthrough and they duly got it after McCafferty had turned to spinner Paul Rutherford.
The left armer not only got both scalps of Smith (50) and Javed (36) in identical fashion – stumped by McCarthy – but the initial incision sparked off a dramatic collapse in the visitors ranks and they finished on 166. Collins took his tally to 7-52.