Williams proud of players as they bounce back

Ashington Cricket Club’s first XI skipper Greg Williams admitted that he was proud of his players after they had wrapped up a 22-run victory over Ponteland at Langwell Crescent on Saturday.

A beaming Williams said: “To pick up 20 points was fantastic.

“Today was a great game of cricket but after last week when we were really disappointed with ourselves, it is good to have a bounce back.

“We had to graft hard for the win but then we could so easily have laid down in the middle of their innings when they were cruising, but we came through it well.”

He added: “If we can put 200 on the board on our wicket, we back our bowlers to finish the job off. And I was proud of all of the lads today.

“It was a good team performance and just the tonic we wanted after the defeat at Consett.”

Williams won the toss and saw his openers perform well.

“We got off to a good solid start for the first time in a while,” he said.

“Then the spinner came on and Anirudh Singh charged down to one and was stumped at a time when he and Neil Wood had looked set.

“I thought the pair were going to go on and get big individual scores because I just could not see how Ponteland were going to get them out.

“After that we had another tight spot in the middle of our innings which we have experienced over the past few weeks as we struggled to rotate the strike and pick up the singles, but I thought we pulled it back in the end with a couple of good knocks.

“Neil Wood grafted and work hard for his 37 because it wasn’t easy on that pitch and it was vital runs at the end of the day in a relatively low scoring game, whilst Jack Jessop batted well for 27 – we needed his solidity because we didn’t want to collapse and get the game behind us.”

Meanwhile the skipper also played a key role with a quick fire 28.

“I have felt good all season but we’ve been doing well and I just haven’t been able to get in,” he said.

“It was a case of trying to get bat on ball. At one stage we thought 160 was going to be a good score, but Callum Storey hit vital runs at the end which made a difference and I was over the moon after we set them 200 to win.”

After an indifferent opening, Williams was pleased with the performance from the men with the ball.

“Bowling wise we didn’t get off to the greatest of starts,” he said.

“We didn’t make the most of the pitch because we didn’t bowl in the right areas.

“They have a couple of good batters in Wayne and James Ritzema and they got off to a flier.

“We then changed things a little bit – Anirudh Singh bowled tight and I just came on to try and get rid of a few overs to be honest with a view to bringing Callum Storey back.

“They found it hard to get the ball away and then we got wickets at good times and also fielded well.

“Craig Wood has bowled well all season and today proved that even further because bowling up the bank is no easy task.

“Certainly his spell was critical , which made a massive difference between us winning and losing.

“Ponteland had to go for it and I always thought we would pick up wickets. If they had got 15-20 off an over, the game could have gone the other way, but we backed Anirudh (Singh) and Callum (Storey) at the death and it paid off for us.”