Ashton-on-Mersey CC – 1st XI – 136-8 Drew with Hale Barns CC – 1st XI – 167-8 dec

ASHTON on Mersey had the worst of a table-topping game at the Beets.

Choosing the bowl first, the home side had little luck early on as Hayden Bailey and James Locke took the score to 75-1.

Bailey fell to spinner Mike Roberts for a well-made 48, but Locke (38) batted patiently as Roberts (3-45) and fellow spinner Chris Wardle bowled tightly.

With Graeme Thomason (3-20) taking late wickets the visitors finished on a slightly below par 167.

In reply, excellent opening spells from Matt Grace and Chris Dodd left Ashton well behind the run rate.

In an attritional battle only Lee Brooks (38) threatening to take the game to the visitors.

Spinner James Locke (4-46) picked up middle order wickets and only a late order partnership between Roberts and Luke Crampton took the home side’s score into bonus point territory.

This was a disappointing performance from the Ashton team but on a day when all the title contenders failed to win they remain firmly in the title mix ahead of another big game next week against Bollington.

Ashton fared better in the 2nd XI game at Georgians where Georgians 183 all out (Barrow 84; Lee Heap 4/25) was chased down by Ashton 184-4 (Mark Timms 52, Ryan O'Brien 55, Will Pidgeon 47no).