ASHTON-on-Mersey made the most of playing in the only game in the Cheshire Cricket League Division One which escaped the weather to tighten the title race with a win at Oakmere.

As rain swept the region, there seemed little prospect of play on Saturday morning, but Oakmere worked hard to allow a reduced overs game to take place once the skies cleared.

Winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, Ashton set out to contain the home side in the hope of setting up a run chase later in the afternoon.

Matt Bradshaw and Peter Hatzoglou bowled tight lines in their opening spell, and the Ashton fielding maintained the standards which have become the norm for them this season.

As the Oakmere batting struggled to accelerate, on a pitch which did not allow the ball to come onto the bat, Ed Faulkner and James Marshall kept up the pressure.

The innings concluded after its allotted 25 overs on 96-5 and the target looked very achievable for the strong Ashton batting line up.

But early wickets threatened to derail their effort and when the top three batsmen were dismissed for single figures the nerves began to jangle in the Ashton ranks.

But Faulkner, ably supported by Mark Weighill, steadied the batting, with both players playing sensible cricket.

The pair saw Ashton through to a fine win with three overs to spare, Faulkner completing his half century as he hit the winning runs as the team totalled 97-3.

The points from this game leave Ashton in third place with only four points covering the top three teams.

They will be looking to keep up the pressure when they visit Lymm this weekend.

Ashton Ladies also dodged the rain to record another good win against Stockport Georgians.

Georgians won the toss and decided to bat first, but soon lost their openers to Jordi Matthews and Amanda Gettins.

Rosemary Duckworth and Natalie Bell restored some order but the introduction of Sarah Sutcliffe accounted for both.

The Georgian innings fell away to an under-par 93 all out – Matthews taking the bowling honours with 3-17.

In reply, Ashton were led by Claire Anderton and Beth Caunce and, despite some late success for the Georgians bowling, Ashton completed the win by five wickets.

The Ashton Ladies sit proudly at the top of the league after this fine performance and host Appleton next.