MICHAEL Thewlis hit his first half century for five years to steer Ashington to a four-wicket win over Greenside on Saturday.
Not only that, but the ageless Thewlis earned man of the match honours having produced an excellent 15 overs stint with the ball earlier in the afternoon as the home side posted 177-9.
The Colliers had run into a little spot of bother against the basement side after getting their reply off to a flying start.
Neil Wood, who smashed the first delivery of the innings to the cover boundary, was bowled off stump by Dan Brown trying to pull, but the setback was overcome when a profitable stand developed between Andrew Gray and Simon Prudhoe.
The pair had added 51 when Gray, trying to fend off a delivery which ‘popped’, lobbed a gentle catch off the shoulder of the bat to Mark Wilson.
That was in the 11th over with 56 on the board, and when skipper Greg Williams was trapped leg before from only the third ball bowled by Chris Stephenson and Daniel Grant gloved a delivery which lifted off a length to Wilson at slip, the Colliers were 75-4.
Home skipper Graeme Tones and Stephenson had already applied the brake on the scoring, but Thewlis and Prudhoe crucially steadied the Ashington ship with another half century stand.
However, with 46 required, opener Dan Brown, who had returned to the attack, induced an edge from Prudhoe who was caught behind by wicketkeeper Andy Mackay for 45.
Thirteen runs later, Martin Sexton fell lbw to Tones at 145-6.
Adam Nichol joined Thewlis and the pair onfidently chipped away at a target which became 26 from the last five overs and 14 from the final three.
Nichol drove a four off Tones and after a bye, the brilliant Thewlis middled a straight six which brought up his 50 in 90 minutes and from 71 balls.
Then from the second ball of the penultimate over, it was fitting that Thewlis should take Ashington over the line clipping a four through mid wicket to finish unbeaten on 58.
In the first session and on an unpredictable wicket, Callum Storey and Craig Wood both struck and in consecutive overs to remove Kevin Penny and Connor Fellowes respectively.
Mark Wilson and Mark Rowell dug deep in a stand worth 75 for the third wicket before Thewlis made the vital interception, taking a return catch after Rowell had skied the ball.
Thewlis struck again to remove Mackay and Matty Collins bowled Stephenson – before Craig Wood made quite an impact after being re-introduced to the attack taking four wickets for ten runs.
Opener Wilson was his first victim, caught behind by Grant for 66 then Wood removed Matty Willis and Matty Turnbull with off cutters and also bowled Dan Brown.
The paceman finished with 5-23 from ten overs with Thewlis taking 2-41 from 15; Storey 1-39; Collins 1-42 and Williams 0-4.
On Saturday Ashington are at home to Cowgate.
Greenside 7 points
Ashington 19 points