ASHTON-on-Mersey posted their first win of the season as their strength in depth delivered a comfortable victory against Port Sunlight at The Beets.
Winning the toss and choosing to bowl, Ashton soon had the visitors in trouble as Matt Bradshaw and Josh Knowles reduced Port Sunlight to 38-3.
But Wayne Greve and Simon Melberzs dug in to produce a fine middle-order partnership which added 77 runs to stabilise the innings. Greve fell victim to the dreaded ‘Nelson’, being adjudged lbw for 33 runs with the total on 111, but Melberzs stuck to the task, making the most of another excellent Beets batting surface.
With the Port Sunlight lower order struggling to contribute, Melberzs delivered a batting masterclass to singlehandedly steer the total to 173, remaining undefeated on 82. Peter Hatzoglu mopped up the tail to finish with figures of 4-65.
In reply, Ashton shrugged off the loss of an early wicket as James Lines led a measured batting effort against an accurate bowling attack.
Lines moved to a splendid 50 before falling to Jimmy Roberts, but with the ever reliable Tom Scott and overseas star Hatzoglu in support, Ed Faulkner ensured a home team victory with an entertaining knock of 74 not out as Ashton reached 174-3. Roberts took the bowling honours with figures of 3-46.
This performance underlined the potential of Ashton to be promotion contenders this year, and they will continue the campaign at Barnton in the next league game.
The Ashton second team produced a memorable victory at Congleton, with victory by two wickets with seven balls to spare. Congleton made 144-8 (Ayushman Chakrabarti 3-17, Anirudh Anil 2-16) before Ashton totalled 145-8 (Lee Heap 41no, Asim Khan 32).
The thirds lost their T20 game to Cheadle but the Ashton women made it a three-win weekend for the club with a comprehensive victory at Wistaston Village. The win sees the Ashton women move to the top of the league after two matches.