Tynedale Cricket Club were crowned champions of the Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League on Saturday night – thanks in no small way to a massive helping hand from Ashington on what was a pulsating final day of the campaign.
The Hexham club were the last outfit to win the division in 2006 before Swalwell’s superb run of seven consecutive titles.
And their skipper Thomas Cant must have thought their hopes were crumbling as his side were shot out for 54 and consequently lost against Swalwell as they picked up only five points on Saturday.
Had Shotley Bridge won at Ashington, the title would have gone to the side from the Derwent Valley.
But the Colliers extinguished Shotley’s bid as they pulled off a five wickets victory – and Cant acknowledged the part played by Greg Williams’ side.
He said: “We’d already lost and needed Ashington to do us a favour.
“As we sat in the dressing room I kept in contact with Chris Watson at Langwell Crescent and naturally we were all elated when the news filtered through that Ashington had defeated Shotley Bridge, which meant we were then champions of the A1 division.”
The 24-year-old, in his third season as skipper, added: “I’m tempted to send a magnum of champagne to Ashington to say thanks on our behalf, and in particular to Anirudh Singh who scored an unbeaten 73 and Callum Storey who took six wickets.
“They are both legends in our eyes.
“There is a friendly rivalry between both clubs and we have some good battles – and Ashington have had a great season in their first season back in the top flight.”
Meanwhile Cant, who is the development officer for the Northumberland Cricket Board, reflected on his side’s crushing defeat against the Colliers in the semi-final of the Bobby Smithson Cup when Singh scorched an unbeaten 114.
“As captain I ran out of ideas and didn’t know what to do against Anirudh,” he said.
“For me it is one of the best innings I have seen this season and was one of those occasions when you hold your hands up and say ‘well played’ to Ashington for their win on the night,” he said.