STAND took another giant step towards preserving their Division One status in the Greater Manchester Cricket League with a 12-run victory at Greenmount.

The hosts led the way at the top of the table before losing their unbeaten record the previous weekend.

And Stuart Catterall's men ensured they tasted defeat yet again with a thoroughly disciplined performance to claim their third straight win.

After a solid opening partnership of 79 between Dave Taylor (45) and Dave Farmer (34), Ali Azmat took up the mantle to add an unbeaten 69, hitting three sixes and eight fours as Stand finished on 220-7.

Greenmount's openers also started brightly, with Saad Khan making 36 and their dangerous professional Kaustub Pawar cruising past his half century.

Pawar leads the batting stats in Division One, with a top score of 175 not out under his belt and 746 runs from his 10 matches at an average of more than 106.

But once he fell to Danish Ateeq for 68, Stand's bowlers started to squeeze the Greenmount chase.

Ateeq finished on 5-33, while spinners Azmat (1-56 from 15 overs) and Catterall (2-50 from 15) helped keep the run rate down.

"It was another great win for the team – our third win in a row – and was built around an all-round team performance.

"Having put on a decent total, we started loosely with the ball and were always behind the game while Greenmount's pro was at the crease.

"However, the introduction of Danish Ateeq changed the game as he removed the pro and then took another wicket the following ball with a great slip catch from Azmat.

"The spinners then maintained control of the game through the remaining overs and Greenmount ended up 12 runs short."

Victory further cemented Stand's place in mid-table, well clear of the relegation places and 12 points behind fourth-placed Greenmount in the final promotion spot.

The club's second team also won, beating Ashton Ladysmith by nine wickets to go third in Division Four East.