ASHTON-on-Mersey kept their promotion hopes alive with a fine performance against Oakmere at The Beets in an eight-wicket triumph.

With the visitors winning the loss and asking Ashton to bowl on a hot day, vital early wickets were taken courtesy of Andy Roscow and Peter Hatzoglou, who reduced Oakmere to 21-3.

Ashton’s efforts in the field were made harder when then went down to 10 men when Mike Roberts was by a struck by the ball while standing at short leg, but the remaining players worked hard to keep up the standards.

Oakmere’s middle order fought back with James Norton digging in for a gritty 34 and Adrian Stubbs hitting out to post a quickfire 48.

The pair both fell with the score on 119, with Norton given lbw and Stubbs going to a remarkable boundary catch from Hatzoglou, who completed the dismissal after keeping the ball alive as he stepped back into play having gone outside the rope.

This, as well as a fine one-handed catch from Lee Heap earlier in the innings, set the tone as the Oakmere innings stuttered to a somewhat under par 147-9.

In reply, Ashton set off at a frantic pace, with Hatzoglou stepping up in place of regular opener Roberts.

Hatzoglou launched a ferocious attack on the Oakmere bowling, posting a 50 off only 25 balls.

At the other end Akash Patel batted with calm authority to ease Ashton towards the target. He cruised to an elegant 50, remaining unbeaten as Ashton got home with 8 wickets in hand, closing on 149-2.

The result leaves Ashton 13 points off the promotion places with three games to go, and there is all to play for in the run-in which continues against Lymm in the next league match.

The Ashton second XI battled to a hard-fought draw at Stockport.

Stockport made 223-9 (Arsian Ghous 51, Haroon Ali 84, Harry Vogt 4-68) before Ashton reached 140-8 (Vogt 44, Jamie Wilks 4-18).