ST ASAPH suffered a blow to their North Wales Cricket League Premier Division title hopes as they fell to a narrow 30-run loss at Northop.

The Saints were unable to continue their impressive run of recent results against the newly promoted side, and they now find themselves 25 points behind championship favourites Menai Bridge ahead of their trip to Llandudno on Saturday.

David North got the visitors off to a flyer in the field when he trapped opener Harry Lewis lbw for three, before Andrew Bellis also got in on the act by removing the stubborn Ben Beaver after the batsman made a promising 40.

The same bowler was on hand to dispose of Darren Williams (2) and Gareth Williams (25) soon after, and Bellis also added Andy Poynton (7) to end the day with impressive figures of 4-41 from a 12-over spell.

Home opener Tom Blackwell made a stubborn 35 from 69 deliveries before he was caught off a Mathew Ryan delivery, with an unbeaten 36 from Bart Ryan-Beswick taking their final total to 215-8 from their allotted 50 overs.

Things looked good for the away side thanks to an opening wicket stand of 79 from Mathew Ryan and Nathanael Scott who contributed 26 and 64 respectively but were undone by strikes from Beaver and Ryan-Beswick.

Skipper Will Ryan kept the scoreboard ticking over with a knock of 32, and a positive double-figure score of 26 from Paul Fleming put them further in the ascendancy midway through the innings.

That was as good as it got for the visitors, who suffered a lower order collapse at the hands of Ryan-Beswick, who despatched North (0), Mike Thompson (0), Bellis (3) and Richard Marsh-Evans (0) to finish on outstanding figures of 6-18 as the Saints fell short and were all out for 185.