A 218 run partnership between David Anderson & Barry Stewart wasn’t enough to stop Percy Main going down by 56 runs to league champions Ashington.
Percy Main welcomed newly crowned league champions Ashington to St John’s Terrace on Saturday.
Coming into the game Percy Main who were unbeaten in their last six games felt confident of causing an upset by being the first team to beat the champions this season.
Almost predictably Percy Main captain Barry Stewart lost the toss & the men from St John’s Terrace had to field.
Ashington Openers Neil Wood & Anirudh Singh added 29 for the opening wicket before Wood drove Amit Sunda through mid on.
Philip Cramman chased after the ball and stopped it inches from the boundary rope.
Cramman then threw a rocket like throw to Sunda at the bowler’s end who removed the bails to run out Wood as he attempted the third run.
At 31-1 Percy Main would have been hopeful of making further inroads.
However, they were thwarted by a partnership of 109 between Jack Jessop & Singh.
Singh brought up a 46 ball half century when he drove Dan McGee through the off side.
Jessop was positive in his batting and looked to rotate the strike as much as possible.
The Partnership was broken by Mark Armstrong (1-41) when he took a fantastic low return catch off his own bowling to dismiss Jessop for 39.
Ben O’Brien Joined Singh and immediately went for his shots.
He hit consecutive boundaries off Stewart before smashing Armstrong for six over the sightscreen. O’Brien raced to 26 from just 15 balls and treated the introduction of Michael Boyd’s off spin positively by immediately hitting him for four.
However, when he tried to repeat the stroke to the next ball, he picked out Philip Cramman at mid off to be out for 30 from just 17 balls.
At 188-3 in the 38th over Ashington looked to increase the run rate and push on towards 300. Singh drove Sunda for 4 to bring up a 109 ball century.
Percy Main then picked up three quick wickets as Ashington looked to increase the tempo.
Singh was bowled for 108 by Amit Sunda (2-58). Singh’s 108 lasted 117 balls and contained 11 4s & three 6s.
Ashington captain Greg Williams was caught by Mark Armstrong off the bowling of Boyd and Sean McCafferty was caught on the long on boundary as he tried to loft Sunda over the rope only for Philip Cramman to judge a high catch to perfection.
At 243-6 in the 46thover Callum Storey and Daniel Grant came together and added 44 in the final four overs as they tried to hit every ball to the boundary.
The pair hit six boundaries between them and ran well between the wickets.
Storey finished 20 not out and Grant 24 not out as they took Ashington to 287-6 from their 50 overs.
Chasing 288 to win Percy Main got off to an awful start as they were reduced to 13-3 inside the opening 4.4 overs.
Anthony Hornby tried to cut Callum Storey (2-44) but edged through to Sean McCafferty at second slip without scoring.
Will Taylor was bowled off the inside edge for five as he tried to drive Matthew Collins (2-52). Michael Phillips edged a good delivery from Storey through to wicket keeper Daniel Grant for a three ball duck.
At 13-3 another batting collapse looked a possibility.
However, Barry Stewart & David Anderson steadied the Percy Main innings.
Stewart was watchful in his defence and Anderson was positive in his stroke play.
The pair added 100 in 30 overs, during which Anderson brought up a 64 ball half century.
Stewart struggled initially scoring just 15 runs from his first 65 balls before he found his rhythm & began to time the ball better.
With the score 124-3 after 34 overs both men looked to score off every ball and tried to increase the Percy Main run rate.
Anderson hit consecutive boundaries off Singh as he raced into the seventies.
Barry Stewart also increased his tempo as he hit Paul Rutherford for consecutive boundaries in the 36th and 38th over.
Stewart brought up a 108 ball half century when he smashed Rutherford through the covers for four.
Having brought up his half century Stewart began to score runs at will as he scored 32 runs from his next 20 balls, hitting four 4s & one 6.
Anderson joined in the fun as he hit Rutherford for consecutive boundaries and a six as he took 15 runs from the 41st over as he moved to 85. Anderson kept scoring runs and showed no sign of nerves as me moved from 93 to 100 with two scoring shots.
Anderson drove Collins into the sight screen to move from 93 to 99 and then next ball pushed a single to fine leg to complete his 105 ball century.
The pair ensured that Percy Main reached maximum batting points when they brought up the 200 in the 46th over.
The Pair brought up the 200 partnership two overs later when Anderson hit Collins for another six over long on.
Stewart also continued his positive batting as he took 18 runs from Callum Storey’s last two overs to take Percy Main to 229-3 after 49 overs.
Although Percy Main could not win the game in the last over, with Stewart 95 not out he had the chance to make a century.
Stewart took a single from the first ball of the over.
Anderson pushed a tight single from the second ball to get the strike back for Stewart.
The next two balls were dot balls which left Stewart needing four runs from two balls to complete his century.
Stewart tried to hit the 5th ball through the off side but caught the ball high on the bat.
The ball went up in the air and Sean McCafferty took a good catch to dismiss Stewart for 96.
Stewart’s innings lasted 133 balls and contained 13 4s and two 6s. The pair added 218 runs for the 4th wicket in 45.1 overs
David Anderson defended the last ball of the innings as he finished unbeaten on 115 from just 116 balls, hitting twelve 4s and three 6s. Anderson’s century was the first century scored by Percy Main’s first team in three seasons.
Percy Main finished on 231-4 giving Ashington victory by 56 runs.
Whilst Barry Stewart will be disappointed with the final result and narrowly missing out on his century,
His 218 run Partnership with Anderson restored some respectability to the result & gave the league champions quite a few problems.
Percy Main’s last game of the season is away to Leadgate on Saturday, September 18.