Nathan has a ball as Ashcombe maul Meakins for first victory

ASHCOMBE Park chose 'big' to register their first win of the season in the North Staffs and South Cheshire Premier Division on Saturday.

And they don't come much bigger than star-studded JG Meakins, though the Hanley-based club haven't exactly lit up the sky so far this season.

But take nothing away from Ashcombe for beating opponents more noted for being at the top of the table and not rock-bottom as is their current sad situation.

Ashcombe made it three defeats from three starts for the Potters, after a thrilling finish at their Basford Bridge Lane ground.

The hosts were set 151 to win by the visitors and had Nathan Ball to thank for setting the ball rolling by running Staffordshire county opener Peter Wilshaw for 17,) with 51 runs showing on the scoreboard.

Bowler Ball then covered himself in further glory by later dismissing Tariq Mughal (22) and Matthew Redican (5), as Meakins struggled to master a determined Ashcombe assault.

Meakins were indebted to Wilshaw's opening partner Ben Mcguire (63) for a gutsy half-century, as the visitors strove desperately to get out of trouble, as Josh Johnson (3-34) and Max Hill (2-23) turned the screw - the latter ending McGuire's assault clean bowled, reducing the visitors to 112-7 on their way to 150 all out.

Ashcombe seemed to be in control of matters in reply on 137-6, with Philip Clowes (46) and Dave Proffitt (20) laying the foundations for a possible victory, but then slipped to 148-9 as the tension mounted.

Meakins sensed ending their poor start to the season at this point, but Ball (13no) and Jake Johnson (0no)dug in to heave Ashcombe over the the winning line.

Ashcombe made it a doubly miserable day for the Potters with their 2nd XI beating Meakins 3rds away in Division Five.

Half-centuries from Nick Goodwin and Steve Proffitt, backed up by Joe Thompson (44), took Ashcombe on to 245-7 from their allocated 40 overs.

Goodwin needed just 41 balls to make 74 not out - 10 fours and three sixes - while Proffit's 66 runs came of 38 deliveries, striking five fours and five sixes along the way.

Meakins were bowled out for 111 in reply, with Joe Alcock taking 3-43. Tom Warrilow, Grant Roberts and Thompson pitched in with two wickets each.


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