ST ASAPH 200-9

ST ASAPH are all but out of the race for the North Wales Cricket League Premier Division title race on the back of a weekend reverse.

The Saints fell 26 runs short during their trip to Pwllheli, meaning they are now 45 points adrift of frontrunners Menai Bridge.

A slightly undermanned St Asaph won the toss and they elected to bowl first on Saturday.

Despite competition leading wicket taker Jason Foulkes striking early, removing Pwllheli opener Craig Edwards for just four, the home side enjoyed a solid start, making their way to 79 before losing their second wicket.

Andrew Bellis struck, followed by Matthew Ryan and it looked as though the Saints were fighting their way back into the game.

But a 55-run partnership between Chris Moore and Jason Underwood steadied the ship for the home side, before the latter combined with Swapnil Padmanand Kate for the sixth wicket to guide Pwllheli to a competitive target of 226-5.

Foulkes, as he has been on so many occasions this year, was once again the pick of the bowlers for St Asaph, claiming three wickets.

His three on the weekend takes his season tally to 40, the joint leading wicket taker in the Premier Division alongside Menai Bridge’s Gerallt Roberts.

While an unbeaten 67 from Underwood was the highlight of the home side's innings, decent support came in the form of Moore (36), Owen Reilly (30) and Morgan Murray-Williams (36).

In reply, the Saints lost Matthew Ryan early but overseas star Nathanael Scott showed why he is leading scorer for the competition, piling on the runs to guide his side to 145.

Although wickets fell around him, Scott proved the mainstay and while he was at the crease, victory was still within reach.

But, it wasn’t to be as Scott fell for 86 from 103 deliveries, leaving his side at 145-5.

From there, wickets fell at regular intervals and despite a last wicket stand of defiance from Elliot Morris and Charlie Williams, it was not enough to get their team the win, falling 26 runs short to finish 200-9.

Scott’s 86 takes his season tally to 812, 52 runs ahead of the next best – David Winter.

Danny Ryan was the only other batsman to pass 20, making 24.

For the home side, Michael Hughes was instrumental with the ball claiming 4-33 runs from his 12 overs.

Syed Kaleem Aslam took the key wickets of Scott and Foulkes to finish with 2-40 from his 12 overs.

The loss saw the Saints only claim the three points, while Pwllheli walked away with 12.