James Marshall bowls
Ashton on Mersey CC 1st XI 154 all out
Hale Barns CC 1st XI 228 all out
Ashton on Mersey’s recent progress came to a juddering halt as they fell to a heavy defeat at home to Hale Barns.
Losing the toss and being asked to bowl first on a sweltering day, Ashton had early success as seamers James Marshall and Jackson Noske reduced the visitors to 35-4.
But Sam Smith dug in to drag Hale Barns back into the game. Benefitting from Ashton’s inability to hold several acceptable chances, Smith put on a century partnership with James Guest as the Ashton attack struggled in the heat.
But sticking to their task, the Ashton spin bowlers, Sam Thoburn, Aadam Ali and Mark Weighill made the breakthrough. Smith fell to Thoburn for a fine 86 and the Hale Barns tail failed to wag, with the innings subsiding to 228 all out. Marshall finished with 3-52 and Thoburn 3-64 and at the break Ashton would have been satisfied to have restricted the visitors’ effort with the bat.
Things looked good for Ashton as their reply began with a 50 run opening partnership. But when Macca Hooton fell playing one shot too many, the Ashton effort unravelled.
With spinner Joe Cooper taking complete control, Ashton’s batters meekly surrendered through a mixture of poor shot selection and a lack of application. There was a brief flicker of hope when Akash Patel and Mark Weighill tried to take charge of the run chase, but when they fell the innings sputtered and died.
Macca Hooton bats
Cooper finished with figures of 7-61.
This was another poor effort from an Ashton team that has shown signs of hope in the last couple of games. They remain in the relegation zone and need to shake themselves out of their slump when they travel to North East Cheshire for the next league game.
By contrast the Ashton 2nd XI continued their fine season with a crushing victory at Warrington. Warrington 67 all out (Yousuf Bhamjee 4-11, Dave Corps 3-23) Ashton 69-1 (Farhan Ghous 45 not out)
The Ashton 3rd XI fell to defeat at Grappenhall. Grappenhall 295 all out (Adam Heap 3-27) Ashton 145 all out (Omair Arif 3-32)