Ashington seconds retain the Banks Bowl after beating Benwell Hill

Ashington seconds have won the Banks Bowl for the second year running. Picture: Ashington CCAshington seconds have won the Banks Bowl for the second year running. Picture: Ashington CC
Ashington seconds have won the Banks Bowl for the second year running. Picture: Ashington CC
Ashington seconds retained the Banks Bowl with a comfortable victory by 94 runs over Benwell Hill at a sunny Langwell Crescent on Sunday.

Home skipper Josh Robinson elected to bat after winning the toss but the game got off to an explosive start when Michael Levison drove the first ball from Abu Siddique and was caught at cover.

The visitors duly celebrated – but their joy was quelled as Adam Nichol and Scott Pearcey hit back in terrific fashion with a partnership of 142 in 25 overs.

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Both reached half centuries within five overs of each other before Pearcey was caught by Prahalad Nadella off Warren Poxon for a 77-ball knock of 62 which included eight fours and two sixes.

Next ball, Matty Potts played all around a delivery from Poxon and was bowled, but enter Cal Storey whose sensational and whirlwind knock put Ashington into a great position.

The 31st over in particular was memorable as Storey clouted five sixes to bring up his 50 and the right-hander had advanced his score onto 71 in the 34th when he was caught on the off-side by Peter Jones.

Storey was the fourth dismissal with the score on 237 but as the home side went in pursuit of more runs, they lost a glut of wickets – including Nichol, who was caught behind by Rory Mustard for a 95-ball innings of 81 – and eventually closed on an all out score of 258.

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For the visitors, Safiun Ahsan Diip took a very respectable 4-23 from eight overs.

Faced with such a daunting target, the Denton Bank side needed a good start. However from the second ball, Zain Ahmad was on his way back to the pavilion, the victim of a brilliant run out by Cam Walker, and in the second over Matty Storey – fielding at cover – didn’t have to move an inch as Nadella drove a delivery from Alex Nice straight to him.

Siddique fell lbw to Potts in the seventh then Cal Storey struck in consecutive overs to remove Diip and Poxon.

Benwell Hill were 68-5 at the halfway mark, with opener Freddie McGregor remaining solid. He saw Joseph Fletcher and Andy Dawson both fall to Matty Storey, the latter on 110-7, then after completing his half century, McGregor was caught by Cam Walker for 63.

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Young Charlie Harmison bowled Peter Jones before the Hill – with a very impressive unbeaten knock of 29 by Mustard – finished on 183-9.

Last season, Robinson’s outfit lifted the same trophy after defeating Chester-le-Street and the 31-year-old engineer was full of admiration for his side. “It’s a really good feeling,” he said after being presented with the Bowl by Ashington chairman Steve Storey.

“It was disappointing to lose Michael Levison from the first ball of our innings but other lads kicked on and did brilliantly, and we had an excellent first half, putting 258 runs on the board.”

Ashington-born Robinson continued: “There were good knocks from Scott Pearcey (62), Adam Nichol (81) and Cal Storey (71), the latter whose innings from only 35 balls simply took the game away from Benwell Hill. We then backed things up with our bowling and fielding and were always on top. However, to win the Bowl two years in a row is something quite special.”

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