INJURY-ravaged Runcorn Linnets Ladies' emphatic victory in game four of the Cheshire Women’s League Premier Division Cup lifted them to second place in the competition's standings.

In blazing sunshine and searing heat, Runcorn were ahead within two minutes.

From 'keeper Megan Pickering's long ball upfield, Lile Ashley with a wonderful first touch brought the ball under control to beat the covering defender and finish well one on one.

With six minutes on the clock, Ashley made it 0-2. Demi-Lee Rogers cut in from the right for Ashley, with back to goal, to turn and beat the 'keeper low to her right.

Just a minute later, a well-worked short corner move between Ashley and Chelsea Gillies saw the latter send a perfectly-placed cross to the back post for Becky Barker to steam in with an unstoppable third.

Barker, playing on this occasion at centre half, set up goal No.4 in the 17th minute. Her superb, flighted pass was instantly controlled by scorer Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz for a sublime finish.

At a well-earned, much-needed 25th minute water break, manager Pickering brought Ellie Isherwood into the game as she continues her recovery from injury.

Chelsea Gillies made it 0-5 from the edge of the box, Jones-Sacharewicz setting up the midfielder.

Ashley got her hat-trick goal on the half-hour mark for Linnets' sixth thanks to some great footwork and a fine pass from Jones-Sacharewicz, Ashley lashing into the top of the goal from an acute angle.

Runcorn added a seventh goal on 39 minutes, Jones-Sacharewicz with her third assist of the half setting up Gillies from the edge of the box.

Isherwood's free kick from 22 yards found the 'keeper's top right corner for 8-0 a minute after the break, Sale having been penalised for handball.

Sale continued to try to play in their fast forwards but the solidity and unity of the Linnets' back four denied them until the 58th.

Barker's challenge in the area was adjudged to have been unfair, the well-struck resulting penalty giving Pickering no chance.

Jones-Sacharewicz added her second and the Linnets' ninth in the 62nd minute, Wieland this time the provider after cutting in from the left.

Player of the Match Chelsea Gillies sealed her treble with an emphatic fnish, aided by Barker's persistent play, before using her head to convert an Ashley corner for her fourth in the 90th minute.

Manager Pickering praised his players for their positive attitude and executing the game plan perfectly, as Linnets maintained their challenge for a second cup final this season.

Runcorn Linnets Ladies: Megan Pickering Beth Graham (Rogers 72) Becky Barker, Tish Edwards, Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz, Mandy Kennedy, Lile Ashley Chelsea Gillies, Lucy Wieland, Demi-Lee Rogers (Isherwood 25) Mary Rossiter-Gurrell.