ASHTON-on-Mersey kept their promotion challenge alive with a maximum-points win against Lymm at The Beets.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Lymm started cautiously against some accurate Ashton bowling.

Peter Hatzoglou and Matt Bradshaw both delivered probing spells with the ball, with Bradshaw being unlucky not to pick up a wicket.

After Hatzoglou removed opener Mathew Carr, Lymm were indebted to the threatening Blake Munilla who gave the innings some impetus as he struck a well-judged 50 .

When spinner Ed Faulkner removed Munilla, the Lymm middle order decided to take the attack to Ashton, delivering some big hitting off anything loose.

But Ashton stuck to their task and restricted the Lymm total to 177-8 on what looked like an excellent batting surface. Hatzoglou took the bowling honours with 2-36.

In reply, Ashton found themselves in trouble as a mixture of fine bowling and bad luck accounted for the top order.

At 35-4 the home team were starring down the barrel, but James Lines and Mark Weighill batted sensibly to steady matters.

With increasing confidence, the pair began to dominate the Lymm bowling, with Lines playing some aggressive shots, while Weighill took on the vital sheet-anchor role.

When Weighill departed after helping the pair put on a partnership of 130, Ashton had broken the back of the Lymm effort.

Lines saw the home side to victory, ending unbeaten on 89, as Ashton closed on 180-6.

Azan Baig was the pick of the Lymm bowlers, recording figures of 3-45.

This win keeps Ashton in the chase for the promotion places with two games to go in the league season.

They currently sit third in the division, with the top two teams meeting each other next week as Ashton travel to already-relegated Weaverham.

The Ashton second XI had the worst of tricky batting conditions at Hale Barns, falling to a five-wicket defeat.

Ashton made 65-9 (Carlie Sands 38 not out, Jack Wylie 5-12) before Hale Barns reached 67-5.

The Ashton third team suffered a heavy loss at league leaders North East Cheshire, being bowled out for just 36.