Ashington Cricket Club’s first XI skipper Greg Williams admitted on Saturday night that cricket can be a cruel game.
On a day which saw Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League leaders Swalwell were dismissed for 64 in a consequent defeat at Shotley Bridge, Williams’ own side had already been put to the sword and bowled out for a paltry 51 at Consett.
It was their lowest score of the season and the Durham side raced to a nine wickets success.
Had the Colliers taken maximum points, they would have gone to the head of the table.
However, as the curtain comes down to end the campaign this Saturday, the destination of the title can go one of three ways between Swalwell, Shotley Bridge and Ashington.
For the Wansbeck outfit to have any chance, they need to take a maximum haul against Leadgate at Langwell Crescent whilst Swalwell would have to pick up only one point against Ponteland and Shotley would have to lose against Lanchester.
Willoiams said: “We have had a bad week, which can happen in cricket and it can be a cruel game at times.
“It was one of those days at Consett and to be fair I think we’ve been due one. I certainly had that feeling.
“I lost the toss and they put us in on what looked like a decent wicket. It was wet but it looked as if it would play OK.
“It turned out to be a strange, difficult pitch with a tennis ball bounce and we didn’t adapt nor bat very well, losing our top order early on and never recovering from it.”
Williams said that Swalwell’s defeat had compounded the misery on his side but that they should hold their heads up high.
He added: “There was nothing positive to emerge from the first or second innings.
“We got no points and that was what we deserved, but to hear about Swalwell losing made our day worse.
“We had heard Swalwell had bowled Shotley Bridge out for 80 and we thought it was job done and the title race was over, but it turned out that Shotley put them out for 64 so it just rubbed a bit of salt into the wound for us.
“I have said all along that our aim was a top three finish, but when you have had a chance to sneak in and take over top spot, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.
“But we have got to hold our heads up high.
“We didn’t have a cross word on Saturday and we have had a fantastic season in a very good league.
“We have competed the majority of the weeks we have played and it’s unfortunate when on a day where we could have gone in front, the wheels came off.
“Other than the games against Swalwell, it’s the first time we have let ourselves down all season.
“We have lost four matches in a competitive league and unfortunately on Saturday it has cost us dearly because of the position we were in.
“Technically and mathematically we could still be in with a chance, but it’s highly unlikely.
“First of all we have got to turn up at home to Leadgate on Saturday and play like we have done over the season and take 20 points.
“We are looking for a bounce back as we want to finish the season on a good note.”
With fourth placed Tynedale 52 points behind the Wansbeck outfit, Ashington are already assured of a top three finish.