TITLE favourites Bangor took another huge step towards the North Wales Cricket League Premier Division crown with a narrow nine-run success at Denbigh.

The long-time leaders were made to work extremely hard by Stuart Griffiths’ improving side, and the victory was made even sweeter with Menai Bridge’s shock home defeat to Gresford.

Rob Marshall’s men now find themselves 22 points clear at the summit ahead of their home clash with Connah’s Quay on Saturday.

The visitors got off to a positive crease after Matty Haswell was caught off a Darren Nixon delivery after making 26.

All-rounder Harrison Jones then took over proceedings courtesy of a stunning spell, which saw him take the wickets of Nadeem Rehman (9), overseas star Francois Mostert (42) and Marshall (17) on his way to figures of 3-56 from 12 overs.

He was aided at the other end by Sam Lewis, who took the lower order scalps of Sion Evans (0), Jamie Davies (0) and Andy Williams to finish on 3-23, but the knock of opener David Winter proved to be the undoubted highlight of the innings.

The talented batsman smashed his way to 81 before he was run out by Alec Lewis as the away side set a target of 205-9 from their allotted 50 overs.

Despite losing the in-form Jackson Braddock-Pajo for eight after he was trapped lbw by Waleed Idrees, the partnership of Gerallt Lyall and Jones tipped the scales in the home side’s favour early on.

Lyall became Idrees’ second victim of the afternoon after reaching 58, and Jones was also in mesmerising form before eventually being clean bowled by Mostert on 71.

The gifted Mostert seized the initiative with the wickets of Tom Scrimshaw (4) and Lewis (1) in quick succession, and the all-rounder took the crucial late wicket of Alec Lewis late on to end a 12-over spell on 4-31.

Idrees also claiming another brace which proved to be crucial in the form of Griffiths (0) and Andy Taylor (5) to ensure the home side fell agonisingly short on 196 all out from 47 overs.