ASHINGTON Cricket Club first XI skipper Michael Thewlis heaped praise on pace bowler Stephen Boyd despite his side going down by a narrow two wickets defeat against Swalwell on Saturday.
The Colliers came close to achieving a notable success against a side gunning for a fifth consecutive championship after having been bowled out for 96 with the influential and highly motivated Boyd magnanimous in defeat, recording seasons best figures of 6-31 from a marathon and uninterrupted 15 overs stint.
Thewlis said: “In Stephen Boyd I think we have witnessed one of the best unchanged bowling spells that we will see this year.
“To concede only 31 runs when we are defending 96 was an absolutely tremendous effort.
“He bowled quick, accurate and vicious and pitched the ball up, probably for the first time this season and got his just rewards.
“Unfortunately, it’s a shame that we have lost that game because another 20 runs would probably have been enough for us to win it and we just needed one or two lads to stick around with Simon Prudhoe on a really difficult wicket.
“To give ourselves a chance against them, we said 120 was probably going to be enough runs on that sort of wicket – and it turned out to be right.
“However, I would rather focus on our second half performance with the ball and in the field which has been outstanding and I’m pleased for Stephen because he was starting to get a little bit despondent of always beating the bat and not getting nicks and today he pitched the ball up another two or three feet.
“He’s got one of the best batters in the league (Ian Pattison) backing off so far that he has hit his own stumps.
“However, for Saturday’s match against Shotley Bridge, we will take some momentum from winning our cup match in midweek against Tynemouth when Craig Wood bowled a fantastic spell and took four wickets then Scott Dunn hit a match winning unbeaten 69 and I do wish we could have applied ourselves with the bat today as we did against Tynemouth.”
Thewlis applauded Dunn’s efforts with the bat: “The way Scott went about his innings in the cup match was absolutely perfect.
“He just flicked the switch and kept nudging the ball away. He did not actually smash the ball until the last four overs then he went after the bowling taking 12 and 14 off the last two overs.