ASHTON on Mersey kept up their promotion push with a comfortable win against Runcorn at The Beets.

With the visitors winning the toss and electing to bat, Ashton bowlers Henry Bleaze and Peter Hatzoglou produced a challenging opening burst which troubled the batsmen.

But gradually the runs came with James Wells and Michael Jenner posting a battling 50 partnership which threatened to be the base for a significant total.

The introduction of spinner Ed Faulkner was the turning point for Ashton, as he removed Wells, adjudged lbw, and then set about the rest of the Runcorn order.

Teasing the batsmen with flight and subtle changes of pace, Faulkner, pictured, had huge support from the Ashton fielders, who caught superbly to take the chances offered.

The Runcorn middle order collapsed to a disappointing 124 all out with Faulkner finishing with exceptional figures of 7-52.

In reply Ashton faced a hostile opening spell from the excellent Ben Hicks who was unlucky not to be rewarded for his efforts.

James Lines kept the batting effort on course, dealing with the mix of pace and spin which Runcorn bowlers offered. Supported by Hatzoglou, Lines brought the win in sight before departing for a superb 69. Ashton passed the post with 15 overs to spare.

The win keeps Ashton in second place in the league as they look forward to a trip to Port Sunlight in the next game.

The Ashton second XI fell to defeat at Lindow, posting an all-out 122 before Lindow reached 126-4.

The third team also lost at home on Sunday, to Elworth. Ashton posted 152 all out but a strong batting performance from the visitors gave them the win by nine wickets.

Ashton Ladies were beaten at Oxton despite a remarkable effort by the outstanding Jordi Matthews.

Batting first, Ashton were in deep trouble at 17-4 before Matthews came to the wicket. As others struggled, the young star – who had to date been one of the team’s bowling successes – showed her class with the bat to post 71 in the Ashton total of 124.

Matthews then put Oxton on the back foot with the ball, taking 3-9 off her seven overs. But Oxton had too much for the rest of the Ashton bowling effort, getting the runs with three overs to spare.