Williams hails the ‘Ashington of old’ after win

ASHINGTON Cricket Club’s first XI skipper Greg Williams delivered a hat-trick of superlatives following the four-wicket win over Benwell & Walbottle on Saturday.

Williams handed out acknowledgements of the highest order to Steve Nichol and Michael Levison, the pair whose unstinting efforts resulted in the match taking place against the odds, whilst he described his side’s batting performance as something akin to the ‘Ashington of old.’

Williams said: “Our sincere thanks go out to Steve Nichol and Michael Levison for their Herculean efforts.

“Steve put a load of graft in and it’s great to have club members like that who are willing to sacrifice umpteen hours.

“The same can also be said for Michael Levison, who prepared the wicket and cut the outfield, but without both of them, the game would certainly not have been played.”

As for his side, Williams said: “After a couple of disappointing weeks, we bounced back today, and for me, batting-wise it was a performance similar to the Ashington of years ago where up against it, we grafted and got ourselves back into the game.

“Until the end I thought we were second for long stages of the match, but we stuck in when it mattered.

“In the end it was a good all round team performance.

“We timed things right and it was just unfortunate when both Simon (Prudhoe) and myself got out.

“If Simon had hit his effort a yard either side, it could have been a four or a six, and I hit a full toss straight down Rana’s throat.

“At that stage we thought we had to push and if we got out then so be it, but I think we had done the damage before that, getting to the position we were in to win the game, and hats off to Graham ‘Freddie’ Whitworth, who after my dismissal came in and hit his first ball for four to take the pressure off straight away.”

But Ashington’s first half showing disappointed the skipper.

“Just as at Ryton, I didn’t think we bowled particularly well at the start again because we didn’t put the ball in the right areas and put Ben well under enough pressure.

“However, we turned it around a bit with a few wickets in the middle but then they got away again – and you can’t take anything away from the performance of Hassan Raza, the Benwell & Walbottle professional who scored a good hundred.”