Ashington cricket skipper ‘pulling his hair out’ after nervous victory

Ashington Cricket Club’s first XI skipper Sean McCafferty was pulling his hair out as his side clinched a nervous victory over Gateshead Fell by two wickets on Saturday in the North East Premier League’s first division, writes Brian Bennett.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 11:27 am
Ashington cricket.
Ashington cricket.

Gateshead Fell posted 163-7 with Ashington 165-8 in reply.

However McCafferty said: “We are really pleased with the win – and it’s a good sign that we have managed to scrape through - yet not been at our best. I was delighted with the final result – but it was far tighter than it should have been.

"It was a difficult wicket to bat on – certainly to play shots on. You needed patience and really wait for a bad ball - and quite a few of our lads got in and got out and didn’t see the innings through which we spoke about at the end. We needed someone out of the top five to go on and get a knock of 60-70 to try and win the game. Jack McCarthy (25), Younas Ahmadzai (47) and myself (33) all got in and if you stick another 20-30 runs onto what any of us got individually, it would have made the win far more comfortable.”

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Cal Storey and Cam Skinner came through the game unscathed after returning from hamstring injuries and were at the wicket when the former scored the winning runs.

McCafferty added: “The two lads had declared their fitness but I brought them back into the side for their bowling so it’s maybes ironic that they got us over the line with the bat! We don’t feel chasing 160 that batsmen eight and ten respectively should have to be there to knock the runs off but at the same time it’s great that they’ve managed to do it - and it keeps our winning run going.”

*Ashington are on their travels again on Saturday (May 28) when they face Washington but they also change format from the 50-50 contests to win, lose or draw: “It’ll be the first game this season with the red ball which presents new challenges so we’ll have to prepare a little bit differently,” said McCafferty, “hopefully we’ll look to keep putting pressure on the teams in and around us - and if we continue to win, we’ll forget about the table and play week to week, game by game.

"We are fourth in the league and if we can string wins together - which we are confident we can do - we’ll climb up slowly and surely.”