Ashton on Mersey fell to a narrow defeat at Christleton despite a battling display from a team containing several less experienced players.

Injury and illness had depleted the Ashton XI who were asked to bat first on a blustery day at the picturesque Little Heath ground.

On a wicket that lacked pace, stroke playing was difficult and the loss of two early wickets put Ashton on the backfoot.

But Mike Roberts dug in to keep the visitors in the game. Batting sensibly Roberts put on a 50 partnership with Ed Faulkner before Faulkner misread the spin of Joshua Joseph to be bowled for 22.

Young Henry Murray joined Roberts to keep the runs ticking, but fell to a sharp stumping by Scott Graves.

Roberts finally went for 36, caught in the deep trying to increase the run rate, and despite some lusty blows from James Marshall and Andy Roscow the innings finished on a modest 132.

Joshua Joseph took the bowling honours with 5-27. In reply, Christleton opener Mubashir Hassan threw the bat from the start to get the home team off to a flyer. But when his luck failed, being run out backing up, the innings stuttered as Marshall and Lee Heap reduced Christleton to 38-4.

Tom Wells stabilized the middle order with a sensible knock, adding a 50 partnership with Jamie Griffiths.

Ashton fought back with the introduction of Roscow who, despite struggling with the strong breeze, removed both Wells and Griffiths before taking two more lower order wickets to leave Christleton eight wickets down with still 15 needed for victory.

But Arslan Dar and Arran Brearey kept their heads to get their side home with two overs to spare. The admirable Roscow finished with 4-23.

Whilst the result was disappointing, Ashton were more than satisfied with the effort and application of the younger players.