Ashton on Mersey maintained their promotion push despite coming out on the wrong side of a hard-fought battle with fellow title contenders Cheadle Hulme.
Losing the toss and being invited to bat on a green tinged wicket, the Ashton opening pair of Akash Patel and Dave Patterson fought hard to see off the potent Cheadle Hulme attack
But with the score on 57 both openers departed, heralding a mini collapse as both Edward Faulkner and Peter Hatzoglou fell without troubling the scorers.
But James LInes and Tom Scott came together to weather the storm, gradually getting on top of the bowling.
Lines was dismissed shortly after posting his 50, but Scott continued to dominate the home bowling, finishing unbeaten on a fine 81 as Ashton passed the 200 mark.
Tom Whitehouse recorded the leading bowling figures of 3-51.
In reply Cheadle’s opening batsmen Chris Taylor and Humayan Khalid played superbly to first blunt and then take apart the Ashton attack. With Ashton not taking advantage of the chances that came their way, Taylor led the way as the home side posted a 1st wicket partnership of 169.
Ashton did well to capture late wickets, including Taylor for a superb 109, but the damage had been done with Cheadle completing a 5 wicket win with 2 overs to spare. Hatzoglou finished with figures of 3-65.
This was a match between two equally matched sides, where the toss proved crucial. Ashton will be grateful that the bonus points they obtained from the game keep them above Cheadle Hulme in the table going into the next round when Ashton host Runcorn.
In the 2nd XI clash between the teams, Ashton produced a fine performance to record a 44 run win at The Beets. Ashton 2nd XI 154 all out ( Callum Ramsey 73 not out, Stuart Wilson 7-48) Cheadle Hulme 2nd XI 110 all out (Ollie Chow 6-22).
Both the 3rd X1 and Women’s X1 has a rare week without a game.