Weather yet again leaves Ashington idle

ASHINGTON Cricket Club’s second team sit mid-table in the B1 division of the Wellstream Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League – yet over a month into the season they are yet to lay bat on ball.

Skipper Martin Thewlis admitted at the weekend that he cannot ever remember a start to the cricketing season with a deluge of rain in early May following on from what turned out to be more than April showers.

Thewlis, 39, has now seen scheduled league games against Newcastle City, Lanchester, Annfield Plain and Morpeth all washed out.

And after his side’s latest postponement, he said: “I cannot remember anything like this – without a shadow of doubt this is the worst start to a season in my life – and that includes going as a youngster to watch the likes of Michael Lynch, my uncle.

“It’s so depressing that I’m not even looking at the weather forecast.”

Thewlis jokingly stated that the four-match sequence was “quite an unbeaten spell for the club”.

He added: “We do currently have a problem with surface water but I’m the eternal optimist and we’ll be doing everything we can to try and get this Saturday’s home match against Lintz to go ahead.”

Last weekend’s clash against Morpeth at Longhirst was cancelled on Friday, but Thewlis’ side did manage to get a cup game under their belts in midweek – and achieved a victory over Backworth by six wickets with Dougie Potts – one of three debutants along with his son Matty and James Riddick – smashing an unbeaten half century at Langwell Crescent.

“Dougie batted beautifully in difficult conditions,” said Thewlis.

“He struck the winning blow with a six which also brought him his 50, but other batsmen also contributed in our win, and in the bowling department Steve Williams took four wickets whilst Matty Collins, although wicketless, produced a great spell, especially at the end of the Backworth innings.

“The win was even more pleasing because the visitors put out a strong side and due to the weather of late, there was still enough moisture in the strip to make it more of a bowlers’ wicket than one for a batsman.

“Nevertheless, a lot of credit has to go to groundsman Michael Levison who has done a phenominal amount of work on the square.”

Scores: Backworth: 99-5 (Minto 35; Ahmad 29; Williams 4-29); Ashington: 101-4: (Potts 52 not out; M Storey 17, Williams 12, Sexton 10).

Matches apart at the Langwell Crescent ground, Thewlis is also hoping the spate of bad weather will relent so Saturday morning coaching for juniors can recommence.

“We recently had 40 plus kids turned up when we had to cancel due to the weather,” he said.

“Scott Thornton has visited junior schools and had a phenominal response, and any interested boys or girls under 15 will be made welcome.

“Our sessions run from 10am to 11.30am.”

Ashington’s first XI match at home to Greenside was also a victim of the elements on Saturday.

Skipper Greg Williams said: “We called it off on Friday because conditions were so bad.

“It was like a lake at the Ashbourne Crescent end of the ground and the outfield was saturated with the ground unable to take any more water.

“Following our win over Alnwick the previous week, it was doubly frustrating – but there was nothing we could do about it.”

This Saturday, the first eleven are away to Cowgate.