A SPARKLING five-wicket return by James Mills paved the way for a 36-run victory by Heywood’s second team at Ashton.
The left-arm bowler claimed 5-29 in a terrific 14-over spell as the home side were bundled out for 96 in reply to 132 by the visitors, who stay well in the hunt for promotion from Division 4 East.
Heywood’s total was again based on a key stand between Chris Kaye and Rob Bennett, who put on 47 for the fourth wicket from the unpromising position of 31-3.
Bennett eventually went for 21 but Kaye saw it through almost until the end of the innings until falling for 47. The only other player to reach double figures was opener Mikey Witts with 14.
Then Mills took over with the ball to claim five of the first seven Ashton wickets to fall. And with Rick Purser also returning figures of 3-27 the home side slumped 28-8 and looked likely to fold for a meagre total.
But Mark Adrian, who finished with an unbeaten 43, and Paul Rayson put together a gutsy nine-wicket stand of 54 before Tom Sullivan and Kaye eventually claimed the last two wickets.
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