BATTING with a broken finger, Colin Roberts led Ellesmere Port towards their own recovery by 'marmalising' Division One leaders Bunbury on Saturday.

Hitting his way to 73no, Roberts took the home side onto an unassailable 200-8, aided by 38 extras.

The lead was untroubled by a muted Bunbury response of 109 all out.

Skipper Phil Ashton had promised a heart-to-heart chat with the team before the match, and he believes it did the trick.

'I'm very, very happy and it was a fantastic performance,' he said. 'We had half an hour before the game and the lads responded. I asked them to refocus because when you're losing you get into bad habits. We have enough to beat all the teams there so I asked the lads to concentrate.

'I said to the bowlers I didn't think we're bowling badly, but as a fielding side we've dropped a lot of catches so I asked them to focus on their technique.

'The lads responded and we marmalised them.'

The batting was coupled with a solid bowling performance from Paul Isaacs (7-32) and Andy Sayers (3-30), giving Ellesmere Port a much-needed 25-point win.

Bunbury also commented on Port's fielding after a wonder-catch by Paul Betteridge, diving to reach a ball the second slip said he did not even see.

Phil added: 'It was one of those games where people put in a big performance and held onto catches. Paul Isaacs said that was the best he has ever bowled - they were coming in quick and when I was wicket keeping they were hitting my gloves very hard.

'We've had some really poor results but I've never shouted at the guys and we've stayed positive.

'I don't want to say things have turned around and I don't want to tempt fate, but if we perform like that again we will end up mid-table. We need another win and quickly, and another good performance. This will give us a lot of confidence but we've got to follow it up at Ashton on Saturday.'