ANNFIELD Plain duly completed a season’s double over Ashington Cricket Club – and it was plain sailing as they ran out convincing winners by an eight wicket margin in a rain affected contest at Enterprise Park on Saturday.
Without a handful of first team regulars, skipper Michael Thewlis led a team short on experience which was exposed at the change over as the home outfit brushed aside a youthful bowling attack.
Indeed, on the day the major plus point to come out of the match for Ashington was a solid and gritty effort with the bat from Greg Williams.
Thewlis lost the toss and his side were inserted on a wicket which was not easy – and moreover against the accuracy of ex-Durham pace bowler Neil Killeen.
After Scott Thornton had been bowled by Michael Allen in the sixth over, Killeen removed Scott Dunn and Jack Jessop (18) before the highest stand of the innings was recorded with 40 between Williams and Dale Ross.
In the 28th over, Ross departed after Dave Lemm held onto a good catch in the gully, then four overs later Michael Thewlis fell lbw to Harrison for five from a delivery which kept low.
Following a lengthy interruption for rain, Ashington were forced to change their cautious approach.
Play had been stopped before the start of the 37th over but after the heavens opened, the duration of the innings was revised from the usual 50 overs per side to a maximum of 43.
Williams, who had batted with determination and application, immediately adopted a more aggressive approach, hitting the first ball after the resumption to the ropes for four and proceeding to take another six runs from the same over.
The right hander completed a deserved half century which included six boundaries, but in his attempts to push the scoring along further, and after the dismissal of Martin Thewlis, Williams fell in the 41st to Killeen, who then bowled Callum Storey first ball.
Daniel Grant (19 not out) and Graham Whitworth (10) advanced the score to 146 by the close.
Killeen finished with figures of 6-31 from 12 overs, four of which were maidens.
In reply, Dave Lemm and Andrew Donnelly had 50 on the board inside 13 overs, but the long awaited breakthrough came in the 16th when Lemm skied spinner Thornton with Martin Thewlis safely pocketing the catch at deep mid-on.
Donnelly was timing the ball well and reached his 50 in the 19th over out of a score of 71.
But two overs later he lost his partner Killeen, who edged James Richards and was snapped up by wicketkeeper Daniel Grant for 12.
However, with the score on 83, that was to be Ashington’s last success as Donnelly (70 not out) and Michael Allen (45 not out) added an unbroken partnership of 64 to take their side to victory from the second ball of the 31st over.
Annfield Plain 19 points
Ashington 3 points
On Saturday, Ashington are at home to Chopwell.
Meanwhile Ashington seconds lost the leadership of the B1 division after their match with Annfield Plain’s second string never started due to heavy rain.
The Colliers took the mandatory five points but Sacriston took over at the top after accounting for Lanchester.