Stephen Harmison makes his debut in Ashington win

Ashington’s first XI got their Wellstream Northumberland and Tyneside Senior league division A2 season off to a winning start against Cowgate.

And it was a day when Stephen Harmison made his debut for them as the club’s professional.

Harmison, Callum Storey and Matty Collins all took two wickets each with Sonu Singh, making his A2 bow with the Colliers, taking 3-46.

Neil Wood then top scored with 48 as the Langwell Crescent side won by four wickets with skipper Greg Williams hitting the winning boundary from the first ball of the 40th over whilst Asad Bokhari took 4-13 for the visitors.

Williams said: “It was a fantastic start for us. We bowled really well and it was a boost to have Stephen Harmison in the side.

“He didn’t open the bowling, with Callum Storey and Matty Collins taking their chance, and they did a superb job before seamer Sonu Singh bowled tightly in the middle of the innings.

“Stephen came on and looked sharp and it was a great effort by everyone to keep Cowgate down to 135 on a slow but decent wicket.

“Neil Wood and Scott Dunn got us off to a terrific start when we batted and Simon Prudhoe played his part as well.

“There were some nice little partnerships throughout the innings and although we lost late wickets, we got over the finishing line in the end so I’m over the moon.”

Williams said Harmison will play for Ashington this season when available.

“Stephen is our professional but his availability for us all depends on his commitments with Durham,” he said.

“He is trying to get back to fitness and when he is not with Durham, he will be with us, so it will a massive boost for us – not only because he is a quality player but also because he is an Ashington lad.”

He added: “He’s enjoying being with us and the rest of the side get a bit of a bounce off him, and it’s good to have his experience in our ranks.

“Stephen’s presence creates a buzz in the changing rooms which is what we need.”

The match sponsor was Ashington RAOB club.

Meanwhile Swalwell seconds clinched a six hit last ball win over Ashington seconds at Derwenthaugh.

Opener Doug Potts (65) and Matty Storey (34 not out) featured for the Colliers as they posted 184-6 from their allotted 45 overs.

Richard Shotton made 50 and Simon Clarke an unbeaten 53 for the victors.

On Saturday, both Ashington sides play Backworth.

The firsts are away with the seconds at home.

Junior coaching also commences on Saturday at Langwell Crescent running from 10am to 11.30am.

The sessions will continue until the end of August and interested parties should contact Martin Thewlis on 07533 799872.