ST ASAPH 276-6


THERE was a real run-fest at Elwy Grove Park over the weekend.

St Asaph maintained their push for the North Wales Cricket League Premier Division championship courtesy of their thumping home triumph versus Gresford.

While the Saints were on top throughout the contest, they may feel slightly disappointed not to have secured maximum points.

Gresford managed to get within 99 runs of St Asaph's effort of 276-6, meaning the hosts claimed a 14-1 points success, however had the visitors scored a couple of runs fewer, then the Saints would have bagged all 15 points on offer.

It was Saints' skipper Will Ryan who won the toss and there was probably little hesitation in electing to bat first.

A solid start was supplied by Mathew Ryan and Nathanael Scott, who put together an opening stand of 34.

This came to an end when Scott was dismissed for 21 by Chris Ellwood.

Soon after, it was Ryan's turn to leave the crease as he was trapped leg before by Ellwood (2-50).

With the score 44-2 at this stage, Gresford may have sensed an opening, but St Asaph had other ideas.

A brilliant partnership for the third wicket between Duncan Midgley and Will Ryan put the home side in the box seat.

The dynamic duo put together a superb stand of 186 to frustrate the opposition bowlers.

Midgley scored a brilliant 114 from just 107 deliveries, hitting 15 fours and two sixes along the way.

Ryan was also in impressive form and he hit 12 boundaries in his innings of 80.

Rapid late efforts from Jason Foulkes (14 not out) and Paul Fleming (11) helped to push the total to an imposing 276-6 by the time the 50 overs drew to a close.

Sam Thompson (2-40) and John Bell (2-66) were also among the wickets for Gresford.

The visitors knew they needed a solid start to their reply after tea, but this did not turn out to be the case.

With just four runs on the board, Gresford lost their first wicket, with Matthew Thompson being dismissed by a Duncan Midgley inspired run out.

Things didn't really get much better for the visiting side following this disappointing start and Jason Foulkes trapped Matthew Cree leg before to reduce Gresford to 12-2.

A mammoth defeat looked to be in the offing when the visitors slipped to 38-4 and 58-5.

David North (2-31) and Jason Foulkes (3-31) caused the initial damage.

Some form of recovery was in the offing for the beleaguered Gresford line-up and their mood was improved by a 60-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

This stand was compiled by Daniel Williams (47) and Gareth Bell (25), and it was brought to a halt when Paul Fleming (1-32) dismissed the former.

Despite the best efforts of John Bell (16 not out) and Joshua Knowles (10), it was only a matter of time before the Saints would confirm a magnificent seventh success of the summer.

This was finally achieved when Mike Thompson (1-32) accounted for the wicket of Simon Perry and Gresford were bowled out for 177 in the 47th over.

Also among the wickets for the hosts were Mathew Ryan (1-1) and Danny Ryan (1-21).