ST ASAPH suffered another dent to their North Wales Cricket League Premier Division title hopes with a one-wicket loss at Northop.

The Saints were on the wrong end of a close outcome for the second straight week, leaving them in sixth position and 29 points behind pacesetting Bangor.

Will Ryan’s men will be hoping for better fortune this Saturday when they entertain Llandudno at Elwy Grove Park.

The visitors were given a mountain to climb early on when James Birch removed the opening partnership of Mathew Ryan and in-form Duncan Midgley for two and 18, with Will Ryan clean bowled by Ammar Mahmood after contributing seven to the scoreboard.

Overseas star Nathanael Scott was in much better form, and the wicketkeeper-batsman managed to hit ten boundaries on his way to 80 from 124 deliveries.

He was aided at the other end of the middle by Daniel Williams, who was run out by Mahmood on 43 from 83 balls during a critical stage of the innings.

Another valuable effort late on came from Jason Foulkes, who ended the day unbeaten on 17 as the away side set a target of 192-7 from their allotted 50 overs.

Foulkes took his good form with the bat into the field and put the new ball to superb use early on, taking the wickets of Mahmood (18), Alex Gill (1) and Chris Brookes (0) in quick succession, before disposing of Andy Poynton (43) later on to finish with impressive figures of 4-38 from a ten over spell.

The Saints’ captain took out the influential pair of Andrew Oates (48) and Danny Nicholson (0), and brother Danny Ryan looked to give the visitors another massive boost with the scalps of Matthew Mullarkey and James Birch for 28 and four.

Their efforts were not enough to give them a triumph, with Bart Ryan-Beswick (12*) hitting the winning runs with 2.2 overs and one wicket remaining.