ST ASAPH geared up for their pivotal clash with Bangor with a narrow 27-run home victory over Connah’s Quay.

The Saints managed to keep the pressure on early pacesetters Menai Bridge with another polished display, and Will Ryan’s men travel to the North Wales Cricket League Premier Division champions on Saturday with both on 76 points.

The hosts made a difficult start to their time at the crease as overseas star Nathanael Scott and Ryan were dismissed early on for six and four, but a strong partnership from Mathew Ryan and Paul Fleming got them back on track during the opening exchanges.

Ryan produced a number of impressive shots before he was eventually dismissed four runs shy of his half century, while Fleming proved an even more resolute presence until he was clean bowled by David Fox after contributing 62.

Other notable contributions came from Danny Ryan (35), Mike Thompson (17) and Jason Foulkes (15) as the home side ended their 50 overs at the crease on 232-9.

Martin Burger, Matthew Redinger and Fox all claimed two wickets apiece for the combined loss of 133 runs.

Things looked bleak for the city side despite David North despatching Fox (6) in quick fashion, with Redinger and skipper Burger producing a scintillating partnership which put on 89 for the second wicket.

Redinger smashed 11 boundaries on his way to 57 before he was ousted by Alex Baker, and Foulkes finally managed to dispose of Burger after the gifted batsman hit a sublime 124 from just 89 deliveries.

That was as good as it got for the visitors, who saw their middle order decimated thanks to the Saints’ strength throughout their bowling attack, with Richard Marsh Evans claiming the prized scalps of Darren Pritchard and Rob Downey for two and a duck respectively.

North also claimed a pair of lower order wickets to end the day with figures of 3-51 as the away side mustered 205 all out in reply.