Littleborough’s experiences duo Gar Hunter and Chris Dearden kept the side on the fringes of the title chase despite a fantastic performance from the young Ashton bowler Dominic Ball.

The two batsmen shared an 80 run partnership which was just what Littleborough needed after Ashton hade made early inroads into their batting. Chris Schofield added a useful 19, but just as Boro prepared themselves for a final push Ball struck.

The left arm spinner ended the innings with a hatrick, dismissing Jones 0, Lee Kelly 3, and Miskella 0 who were both clean bowled as Littleborough finished on 204.

Kelly had revenge in mind as he impressively took the new ball and removed Ashton’s dangerous Australian duo Luke Hodgson 2 and Matt O’Brien 10. In between Miskella accounted for free scoring David Gandy 0 as Ashton reached 21-3 and were now in trouble. Trevor Gane and Jon Selby began signs of a recovery.

Selby 33 departed at 92 caught by Fitton off Dearden and David Gaskin joined wicketkeeper Gane. Gaskin threatened to take the game away from Littleborough with a fine 64 but partnership breaker extraordinaire Hunter did the trick.

Dearden and Miskella then wrapped up the tail as Ashton were dismissed for 185 in the final over