Thewlis calls on club’s first XI not to panic

ASHINGTON Cricket Club first XI skipper Michael Thewlis has asked players and supporters alike to adopt one of the most famous catchphrases in history as they approach the run in to the halfway point of their Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League A1 Division campaign.

The Colliers, second bottom of the table, saw Saturday’s home match against Burnopfield abandoned and they now embark on a tough assignment as they come face to face with Sacriston, Swalwell and Shotley Bridge – the leading three clubs – in consecutive weeks.

But Thewlis, an ardent lover of the classic TV series Dad’s Army, has taken a leaf out of Corporal Jones’s book by declaring to his men ‘Don’t panic’.

Thewlis said: “Yes we are second from the bottom and we know we should be further up the table, but my message to everyone concerned with the club is clear and simple, don’t panic.

“We were disappointed not to get the game played today (against Burnopfield) but unfortunately the weather intervened in a match against one of the sides we needed to beat.

“We have three tough games coming up and it would have been nice to go into those games with a bit of form behind us.

“We are playing some good cricket, but with the exception of the games against Morpeth and Newcastle City, we have not been able to name unchanged sides and definitely have not played to our potential this season.

“I honestly thought we would be pushing for a top four place by this stage, but the reality is a little different.

“However, we have not got to panic and worry about our league position, but we do have to realise that we have to train and work hard and put a string of good performances together.”

He added: “Jack Jessop and Scott Thornton have been fantastic for us with the bat and Stephen Boyd and Craig Wood have bowled really well, but we have tended to get ourselves into good positions with the bat at key stages of the game and lose quick wickets late in an innings, which has meant we have not scored the 240-plus runs I know we are capable of.

“Once we do that, I know we will start climbing the table.”

The Colliers host two of the next three games at Langwell Crescent, starting with Saturday’s clash against second placed Sacriston.

A trip to Derwenthaugh to face defending champions Swalwell is next on the agenda on June 25, followed by the arrival to Wansbeck of Shotley Bridge on July 2.

Meanwhile, Ashington’s match against Tynemouth in the Tyneside Charity Bowl was called off in midweek following afternoon rain.