ST ASAPH were unable to cause a stir at the North Wales Cricket League Premier Division summit as they fell to a 22-run loss at Menai Bridge.

The Saints ran the title challengers extremely close before faltering late on, and the result sees them slip to ninth position and 35 points clear of safety ahead of their next outing at Pontblyddyn on Saturday.

Bridge made a strong start to their time in the middle until Luke Jones was ousted from the crease by Alex Baker on 35, and the same bowler also disposed of wicket-keeper opener Jack Gower just five runs short of his half century.

Things looked promising for the visitors when David North got rid of skipper Dion Holden and overseas star Sean O’Callaghan for a pair of ducks, with Baker ending the day with figures of 4-45 after sending Gethin Roberts (10) and Carl Jones (2) back to the pavilion in quick succession.

The one constant throughout the middle order was Robbie Jones, who proved a stern proposition to remove and ended the day unbeaten on 72 from 64 deliveries to give his side a fighting chance of success.

Jason Foulkes took two lower order wickets in the form of Andy Skeotch (8) and Dion Owen (6) for the loss of 54 runs as the home side set a target of 223 all out, which was revised to 168 from 33 overs due to incoming bad weather threatening the overall outcome.

Bridge bowler Gethin Roberts had a huge impact on proceedings early on, taking the wickets of Mathew Ryan (24), Nathanael Scott (1), Will Ryan (23) and Duncan Midgley, who was removed on 40 during a crucial stage of the innings.

This enabled Roberts to finish with figures of 4-49, and brother Gerallt Roberts also had a massive impact on proceedings to end the day on 3-35.

O’Callaghan claimed the scalps of Paul Fleming (8), Dominic Haynes (10) and North (18) in quick succession to leave the visitors narrowly short of their required total as they made 145 all out in reply.