AFTER spending most of the season in mid-table, Sale find themselves in danger of being sucked into a relegation fight after they lost at second-bottom Upton.

With bottom side Romiley also getting an unexpected win at Bowdon in Division One of the Cheshire County League, there are now only 24 points separating the bottom four teams.

Sale got off to the perfect start upon winning the toss as Dan Newton removed skipper Matt Owens for a duck.

Rich Adams backed this up with two quick wickets as the home side were reduced to 42-4.

Matthew Smith (53) and Chris Stowell-Smith (33) then combined for what would be the match-winning partnership as they added 55 for the sixth wicket.

Once they had gone, Sale soon wrapped it up, with Ben Watkins taking five wickets with his left-arm spin to close the innings on 158 all out in the 41st over.

Sale’s reply never going as they soon found themselves at 15-4.

Despite a spirited 22 from Watkins at number 10, Sale subsided to 102 all out.

Sale second XI had an even worse day against high-flying Timperley after they were bowled out for 68 inside 34 overs, only Nick Courtney with 27 reaching double figures.

Timperley coasted home for the loss of three wickets inside 18 overs.

Sale third XI lost a closer game at Hyde after the home side posted 205-6 in 45 overs, Ibraheem Shareef and Viraj Sorathia taking two wickets each.

Sale were bowled out for 178, 27 runs and two overs short of their target, Sorathia carrying his bat for an unbeaten 96.

He was well supported by Nick Courtney (20) and Ian Habershon (27).

Sale fourth XI lost at home to Bowdon thirds, Indish Minocha top scoring with 38 as Sale posted 124-9 in 40 overs.

Bowdon reached their target for the loss of four wickets in the 27th over.

Earlier in the week, the final match of the over-40s season against Urmston was rained off.

This Saturday, the first XI host Didsbury at Dane Road and the second XI travel to Warrington, while on Sunday the third XI host Marple and the fourths visit Macclesfield.