JESSE Dinnie says Saturday’s seven-wicket win at fellow promotion-chasers Heaton was Atherton’s best performance of the season so far, but the Australian is refusing is to get carried away with their table-topping form.

Captain Dinnie’s side are on course for an immediate return to the Premiership.

After chasing 190 inside 38 overs at Lower Pools, they are 11 points clear at the top of the Association at the halfway mark in the campaign with seven wins and two abandonments.

More importantly, they are 12 clear of third-placed Eagley.

“I think it was our best performance,” said batting all-rounder Dinnie, one of the stars of the show alongside Sri Lankan professional Manelka de Silva.

“They’re probably the best team we’ve played so far.

“To pull that off was a big win because I feel they’re better than their total (189) showed.

“From what we played last season in the Premiership, I think Heaton would be competitive.”

“This gives us a bit of breathing space, but we’re definitely not going to relax. We’re not really talking about promotion or winning the league just because we want to focus on each game.

“I know it’s pretty cliched, but we’re trying to play good, positive and fun cricket. If we do that, we’ll be hard to beat.

“If we get done playing positively, hats off to the opposition. We can look at ourselves in the mirror. If we get done playing negatively, that’s a different story.

“Sometimes the conditions don’t allow for that, so we need to play smart cricket as well.

“But I said to the boys afterwards, ‘If we play our brand of cricket and the opposition’s too good for us, then we’re fine with that’.”

After Heaton elected to bat, de Silva took the new ball and claimed 5-36 from 11.5 overs with his medium-paced swingers, while Dinnie added 3-46 from 11 overs of off-spin.

In the chase, they shared 122 inside 23 overs for the third wicket to advance from 25-2, nullifying the threat of Heaton’s wicketless left-arm spinning pro Harsha Rajapaksha, who had earlier been run out for 54.

Dinnie opened and hit 66 off 88 balls and de Silva was unbeaten on 74 off 89.

“It was a good game for both us,” added Dinnie. “The pro bowled and batted unbelievably well to get us over the line.

“It was crucial that we stayed together with us both being left-handers and their pro being a left-arm spinner. Spinning it away from our right-handers would have been tricky, so we didn’t take many risks.

“We knew if we batted him out of the game, we’d be in a winning position.

“There wasn’t really much turn, it was more skidding on. But as soon as one turns, the bowler’s in the game with some skidding on and others turning.

“One thing we spoke about was that we probably gave them too many runs. Their second highest scorer was our extras. We could have kept them to 150.

“That’s an area for improvement. We’re getting away with it at the moment, and maybe we wouldn’t in the Premiership.”