PACE bowler Surya Rathore was grimacing mid-afternoon at Cowgate on Saturday when he conceded 21 runs in the 39th over of what had proved to be a hard-working session with the ball.
The priceless addition to the score enabled the home side to advance to 140 after their allotted 45 overs.
However, youngster Rathore’s dejection turned to joy a few hours later as his late flourish with the bat including two fours and a six at a time when the pendulum had swung towards Cowgate, edged Ashington to a slender one wicket win.
And for good measure, the student also had the satisfaction of scoring the winning run.
Cowgate’s ground had survived a mid-morning inspection which led to them playing their first game of the season.
After losing Kak and Balasundarum in the early stages, they recovered largely due to the efforts of Mossin, who scored 29.
Mossin’s wicket – caught by Simon Prudhoe at square leg – had provided an unexpected breakthrough for the Colliers as he and Ahmed had looked comfortable.
However, shortly after his departure, Callum Storey replaced Jonathan Sadler and the youngster trapped Ahmed leg before.
Alishad and Aslam added 40, both hitting 20, until Ali and young Richie Crawford punished Rathore, the latter clipping two leg side full tosses over the ropes.
Rathore (2-31), Sadler (2-33) Graham Whitworth (1-29) and Storey (1-42) shared the wickets aided by three run outs and one stunning catch taken behind by skipper Daniel Grant in the last over.
Ashington’s reply started badly, losing Andrew Gray, Simon Prudhoe and Michael Thewlis inside the first 15 overs – all to Crawford who generated a bit of pace in his initial spell of ten overs.
However, the experienced Neil Wood and skipper for the day Daniel Grant took the game to the home side and must have harboured hopes of leading their side to victory after adding 63 for the fourth wicket.
But requiring 46 from 18 overs, the unthinkable happened when Grant, who had looked in no trouble and who had scored 30, whipped a ball from Moss straight down Ahmed’s throat on the mid-wicket boundary.
Nine runs later and Wood, who opened the batting and had been in top gear, coming through a test of character with flying colours with five boundaries and one six, was bowled by Balasundarum for 47.
And when Balasundarum nipped out Matty Stroey, Adam Nichol and Sadler in quick succession and Whitworth was run out with still 11 runs required, the scales tilted in Cowgate’s favour.
But Ashington’s never-say-die attitude shone through with last man Callum Storey lending support to Rathore (18 not out) with the pair pulling off a memorable victory with three and a half overs to spare.
Mention must also go to the small hardy band of Colliers supporters who braved the cold conditions but were nevertheless warmed by a win which sees their side climb to second in the A2 division table.
Cowgate 6 pts; Ashington 19 pts
On Saturday Ashington are involved with matches against Whickham with the firsts at home and the second XI away.
In the A Division Cup last week, Ashington advanced after a seven-wicket win over Seaton Burn.
Scores: Seaton Burn: 42 all out (A Jenison 10, C Redpath 10; Nichol 3-11; Williams 3-16; Callum Storey 2-7). Ashington: 43-3 (Grant 13 not out, Gray 11).
Meanwhile Ashington seconds were again sidelined and are yet to play this season after their scheduled match against Lintz at Langwell Crescent was called off due to an unfit ground on Saturday morning.