A FIVE-wicket haul for Josh Element helped lift Ross 1st XI to within three points of top spot in Marches Division 2 as they marched to a nine-wicket win at Presteigne.

Set 93 all out, they needed just 9.5 overs to reach the target.

And with leaders Hay-on-Wye losing at home, the victory means they are virtually tied at the top with five games to play.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat, and it soon became apparent that the track would have a big bearing on the game due to its uneven bounce

Despite great bowling, the luckless Chloe Tingle and Adam Parkes took until the seventh over to gain the first breakthrough with the latter bowling Ben Smith for two.

Presteigne then managed to reach the 14th over without further loss, prompting a double bowling change, with Element and Jack Donovan entering the fray.

Keith Flitton snapped up a catch off Donovan to see off third man James Chilman for 15, and while opener Phil Davies was still at the crease, the bowlers then took control.

Element skittled new man Mark Ammonds for a duck, before quick-thinking Tingle ran out next man Frederick Chilman without scoring.

Mark Speed only managed a single before holing out to Tony Laws off an Element delivery, and skipper Jockey Wilson’s stumps were scattered by Donovan for three.

Things went from bad to worse for the hosts as Element bowled Morgan Speed for a duck, followed by Laws grabbing his second catch off a Donovan ball to see off Andrew Bray for four.

Only Davies with 35 offered any threat before he was bowled by Element, who also took the 10th man’s wicket for six, caught and bowled, to dismiss Presteigne in 33.1 overs.

His five wickets came for just 15 runs off 9.1 overs, while Donovan took 3-30 off 10 and Parkes 1-17 off seven.

Tingle also bowled tidily for 0-17 off seven overs.

In reply, skipper Laws holed out for six finding the edge of an “unplayable rising ball”.

But that was as good as it got for the hosts, as Jack Donovan fired two sixes and six fours in an unbeaten 46 and Ben Element cracked five fours and a six in his 34 not out to reach 94-1 in quick-fire time.

The 2nds lost out by 43 runs to visitors Kington 2nds in the T20 Junior Cup, despite a battling 36 from Simon Timewell and 21 not out from Albert Johnson.

Kington scored 182-2 off their 20 overs, Richard Edwards firing 85 before being run out by Ben Rimington, who also bowled Nic Dinsdale for 33.

Ross opener Luke Timewell also scored 10 in reply, but despite a battling 13 not out off 21 balls from Nigel Lane at the end, the target was always out of reach as they finished on 139-7.