Ashwell keep up the pressure

PUBLISHED: 18:53 18 June 2008 | UPDATED: 15:47 11 May 2010

JONATHAN MERRELL:

JONATHAN MERRELL: ""There's a really good spirit around the club.

HIGH-FLYING Ashwell continue to impress with a two-wicket win over Great Shelford cementing their place at the top of Division 1B. It is now four league wins out of five for Ashwell who had Shelford all out for 144 after 39 overs in a narrow but deserved

HIGH-FLYING Ashwell continue to impress with a two-wicket win over Great Shelford cementing their place at the top of Division 1B.

It is now four league wins out of five for Ashwell who had Shelford all out for 144 after 39 overs in a narrow but deserved victory.

Ashwell captain Jonathan Merrell said: "There seems to be a really good spirit around the club that has carried over from last season's promotion - senior players are making sacrifices to make themselves available on a Saturday, and the junior section are providing some great performances on Sundays."

The opening bowling attack of Russell Kemp (1-14) and Martin Talks (2-11) removed both of Shelford's opening batsmen within four overs to leave them reeling at 9 for 2.

Following the loss of a third wicket, a slow but sure recovery was effected by Mortlock (40) and Milne (52), and they had lifted Shelford to 124 for 3 by the end of the 31st over.

Ashwell's bowling and fielding remained disciplined and when the partnership was finally broken by Jonathan Merrell (1-4), the Great Shelford tail was exposed.

Milne's fine knock was then ended by the returning Martin Talks, and the accuracy and perseverance of Gary Simmons was rewarded with figures of 4 for 34 as he mopped up the lower order, leaving Great Shelford 144 all out with one of the allocated 40 overs unused.

In reply, Ashwell's fourth different opening partnership of the season failed to fire, and although on paper the batting line up would be considered one of Ashwell's strongest, a succession of batsmen got off to good starts but could not go on and make a big score.

Tom Wallace (16), Jonathan Merrell (16) and Gary Simmons (17) all came and went. And when Tim Moynihan's hard- hitting knock of 26 was ended, Ashwell were in a perilous position at 99 for 6, needing 46 more to win from the final nine overs.

Matt Skelding's unbeaten 20 saw Ashwell home at 145 for 8 with just five balls remaining.

Skipper Merrell said: "As for Whittlesford this coming weekend, it will be nice to have an away fixture as our previous two have both fallen foul of the weather. It will be a tough game however, because we'll be without one of our most consistent performers in Tim Moynihan, and also Matt Skelding who has made some vital knocks for us this season."

On Sunday, a youthful Ashwell side impressed at derby rivals Steeple Morden, with the hosts all out for 92. Jamie Stovell took 5 for 8 for Ashwell, with fellow Colt Ollie England and Andy Young also among the wickets. Andy and Tom Hartee with knocks of 25 and 18 respectively, set the visitors on the road with the bat, with Alex Griffin's unbeaten 15 chipping in and seeing Ashwell home to 93 for 8.

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