ASHTON-on-Mersey had to settle for a draw despite having the better of a keenly-contested match with Cheshire Cricket League Division One promotion rivals Disley at the Beets.

Losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Ashton were concerned that a pitch freshened by the previous day's rain would prove challenging.

But openers Alex O’Gara and Mike Roberts batted superbly to nullify the threat of the Disley attack and take the battle back to the bowlers.

O’Gara (68) was at his belligerent best with the bat, while Roberts (50) continued his fine form, having moved up the order to open in recent weeks.

Having posted a 110-run partnership, the platform was set for a large Ashton total and so it proved as the middle order hit out to great effect.

Tom Scott and skipper James Marshall made brisk runs but wickets fell as the home side pushed on.

Disley did well to restrict the Ashton total in the final overs to 253-9.

In reply, Disley started cautiously and Ashton had to work hard for success.

Craig Stow and Josh Knowles again bowled well with the new ball, without the luck their performance deserved.

By drinks the pitch had flattened out into a traditional Beets batting-friendly surface, and Jake Reynolds took full advantage to hit an excellent 74.

The Ashton bowlers stuck to their task, and Ed Faulkner found some success, finishing with figures of 4-62.

But despite their best efforts, Ashton could not find a way to take the 10 wickets needed for victory as Disley closed on 197-8.

The draw leaves both sides in the top five and Ashton will be looking to maintain their challenge when they visit Haslington next time out.

The Ashton seconds fell to  defeat at Heaton Mersey after posting 146 all out.

Heaton Mersey reached 149-2 (Manni Saleem 55) to secure the victory.