IT was always a long shot that Ashbourne might gate-crash the promotion places in County League Division 7S but a respectable mid-table place now looks certain after defeat at home to Winshill seconds on Saturday.
Ashbourne were put in and Sam Roberts and Andy Hill both reached 30 without being able to go on to a big score.
Nilesh Mistra (23) and Brad Lewis (14) also came and went but Oliver Maudling settled in for the long haul and stayed until the end of the 46 overs to his first half-century for the club, finishing on 83 not out.
Ashbourne had made a useful 224-7 but it was to prove too few as Winshill's Lewis Gadsby and Mohammad Shakeel put on 140 for the first wicket.
Both were out within 18 runs of each other and Chris Colley, returning to play his first game of the season for Winshill, became Brad Clowes' second victim, for 15.
However, Winshill were not to be denied and Mohammad Shafiq guided them to a fourwicket victory with 38 not out, the target being reached with seven balls to spare.
Hill and Lewis also took two wickets for Ashbourne, who are at home to Hartshorne on Saturday, while Brailsford seconds will see if they can do better against Winshill, a game in which they are at home.
Ashbourne seconds, without a game on Saturday, return to Division 10S action away to Washlands seconds this weekend.