LLANDUDNO laid down a North Wales Cricket League Premier Division title marker with an eye-catching 18-run victory at defending champions Menai Bridge.

The title hopefuls held their nerve in the closing stages to inflict a first defeat of the campaign on Bridge, leaving Jack Rimmington’s men moving up fifth spot in the early standings ahead of their home encounter against Bangor on Saturday.

Despite losing opener Matthew Jones (7) to a Gethin Roberts delivery early on, strong scores from Sam Rimmington and Danial Evans put the visitors back in the ascendancy until they were dismissed for 45 and 77 respectively.

Overseas player Luke Kenworthy was trapped lbw by Sean O’Callaghan after contributing 37, with Tom Thornton’s unbeaten 14 the only other double-figure score as the away side were all out for 211 from 48 overs in the middle.

Gerallt Roberts was the pick of the home bowlers, claiming three wickets for the loss of 37 runs, with Bridge skipper Dion Holden also in good form on his way to figures of 3-60.

Evans wasted no time in making an impact with the new ball by ousting the opening duo of Luke Jones and Jack Gower for six and four, and the all-rounder also took the prized scalp of O’Callaghan for just one.

The Bridge resistance came from Holden and Gethin Long, who made 31 and 69 in a dominant spell, and a nervy ending to the game was assured thanks to a superb 44 knock from Robbie Jones.

Lions’ skipper Jack Rimmington stepped to the fore late on with s standout spell that left him with figures of 4-45, which included his 500th top-flight wickets as the hosts were all out for 193 in reply.

There was no such luck for Llandudno’s second unit, who fell to a 34-run home loss to in-form Caernarfon.