A LAST-WICKET blast from the bat of skipper Andy Bradley fired Prestwich into the third round of the Lancashire Knockout with a dramatic victory at the home of Northern League leaders Leyland.
The spinner joined Tom Scott at the crease with 32 runs needed in a low-scoring tie.
Chasing 120, 13 runs were still required off the final two overs, but Bradley smashed a six and a four to turn the tide, hitting an unbeaten 22 and surviving a run-out scare before Scott hit the winning run with three balls to spare.
After a false start when the game was delayed 10 minutes while a duck and 10 ducklings crossed the ground, Ryan Stanbury struck twice in two balls, the second of which was the scalp of Leyland’s South Australian professional Alex Ross, whose off stump was lifted out of the ground.
Wickets fell at regular intervals as the home side were restricted to 120-9 from their 45 overs, Stanbury ending with figures of 4-20 In reply, Prestwich were reduced to 25-3, but Sam Holden and Taylor took the score to 67 before Taylor went lbw for 15. Ali Raza’s dismissal for seven made it 85-5, triggering the loss of another four wickets for just four runs, including that of Holden for a gritty 37.
However, Bradley provided the sting in the tail to guide Heys to victory and a third-round tie away to Bolton League champions Little Lever.
The previous day Prestwich ground out a four-point league win at Denton St Lawrence.
Chasing the home side’s total of 191-8 on a tame track – Bradley, Stanbury and Holden the only bowlers used in an innings in which Steve Orrell took his 300th first-team catch when he accounted for home professional Danny Cramer - Prestwich launched a confident reply with an opening stand of 98 from the in-form James Wharmby and Carl Hey. Wharmby had made a solid 42 before he was caught close-in by Ben Tighe off Cranmer.
Tom Gibson took a while to get his eye in, but gave good support to Hey who serenely stroked his way past 50.
The duo were also ahead of the run rate, and it was not until the score was on 134 that Cranmer, who ended with 4-52, grabbed a second wicket, trapping Hey leg before for 74, with 11 boundaries to his name.
Three wickets fell in quick succession, but with Gibson still there on 35, Taylor hit the winning run.
Prestwich are at home to Denton on Saturday followed by a Walkden Cup quarter-final tie at home to Thornham on Sunday.