ASHTON maintained their impressive start to the season with a comprehensive victory over North East Cheshire at The Beets.
Choosing to bowl first, Ashton found the visitors in attacking mode as runs flowed freely in the early overs. But Matthew Stuart opening burst with the ball eventually came good, removing the top three North East batsmen.
Jack Airey and Jake Reynolds continued to play fluently for North East, but once Ashton skipper James Marshall removed Airey with the total on 95, the door was open for the Ashton spinners to take over the game.
Edward Faulkner and Peter Hatzoglou pulled back the run rate and took wickets at regular intervals as Ashton turned the screw. The North East lower order struggled to meet the challenge and the innings stuttered to a conclusion for a below par 149. Faulkner again bowled splendidly to pick up 3-23 off 11 overs with Hatzoglou taking 3-54.
In reply Ashton reacted to the absence of their regular openers by moving Bradshaw up the order, and he responded by bludgeoning the ball to all parts to give the innings a frantic start.
When Bradshaw fell going for one shot too many, Mark Weighill took over, playing a calm innings to move score past 60.
The game was secured for Ashton by Tom Scott who once again delivered with a fine 52 before falling with the winning post in sight. The win eventually came by 5 wickets with over 20 overs to spare.
Given that Ashton had several regulars missing this was a satisfying result and performance and puts the team in good heart for their top of the table clash at Haslington in the next league game.
The Ashton 2nd team fell to defeat at Neston despite a battling performance. Neston 183 all out, Ashton 153 all out.
The 3rd XI lost a nail-biter at Cheadle Hulme Ladybridge where despite an unbeaten 79 from Gareth Tuff Ashton fell 16 runs short in the run chase. Cheadle Hulme Ladybridge 218-6 Ashton 202-5.
The Ladies XI also fell short in a hard fought game against Nantwich. Nantwich 151-6 Ashton 117-9