ASHTON-on-Mersey produced a disastrously below-par performance as they slumped to defeat at Disley in Cheshire Cricket League Division One on Saturday.

Losing the toss and being asked to bat first for the third week running, Ashton once again found the task difficult in helpful conditions for the home bowlers.

Despite the hard graft of opener James Marshall, the batting effort lacked energy and Ashton’s failure to rotate the strike, particularly against the spinners, left the run rate well behind what might have been expected.

One bright note was the return to form of James Lines, whose unbeaten 60 rewarded the faith shown in him by the selectors.

The total of 161-6 looked well short of a competitive total and when Disley batted so it proved.

Josh Henry and Jake Reynolds showed the drive and intelligence with the bat which was totally lacking in the Ashton team, posting a 100-run opening partnership.

With Henry in sparkling form, the Ashton outfield fell apart, with poor bowling and sloppy fielding that fell well below the expected standards.

From a team only a few weeks ago on the fringes of the title race, this was a shocking decline.

Only Marshall and Dave Corps provided any sort of control with the ball and the home side posted 162-4 to seal an easy win with more than 10 overs to spare.

Henry was left unbeaten on 97 on a day which Ashton will want to forget.

They will now be looking to the cup competitions for any silverware this season as they build to the quarter-final of the T20 Cup and the semi-final of the Cheshire Shield.

There was more joy for the ladies in Cheshire Women's League Division Two with a 49-run win against Oxton.

An excellent all-round performance from Amanda Gettins (46 and 3-15) first saw Ashton score 160-7 before Oxton were bowled out for 111.

Carol Ingham scored 42 for Ashton in their innings while other notable bowling figures in the reply came from Azure Wilkinson (3-24) and Amelia Baddy (2-19).

The previous Tuesday, the women's team drew against Woodley in the Eastern Division of the T20 Divisional Competition in a match reduced to 188 overs per side.