PRESTWICH may count themselves unlucky their Twenty20 involvement is over, but they will not be feeling sorry for themselves ahead of a busy weekend's cricket.

The Heat finished second in Pool Four of the inaugural Greater Manchester County League's T20 tournament, their only defeat in four group games coming at the hands of table toppers Unsworth.

But with run rate going against them Prestwich failed to make the knock-out stages as one of the best three runners-up.

First-team captain Andy Bradley feels somewhat hard done by, particularly given the nature of their one loss, but there simply isn't the time to dwell on it, with an important double-header to negotiate. next

"I think we are out on run rate," he said. "We have won three of our four games but it looks like we've been knocked out, looking at the other tables. It is difficult to take because that one we lost was on run rate when our innings was called off against Unsworth. In that match we had two overs left to get 16 but at that point the umpires decided to call it off, despite our first 18 overs being played in the rain!

"It's a bit of a blow but that's the way it goes. We wanted to get through and make it to finals day but good luck to those still in it, we'll try again next year."

Prestwich won their final T20 match on Friday, beating Bury Storm by six wickets, and followed that with a seven-wicket success against Edgworth in the Premier |League the following day. And, having restricted Denton West to 83-3 from 32 overs and eyeing a perfect weekend's work, the rain intervened to curtail Sunday's match.

The Premier League leaders are back in action this Saturday, putting their unbeaten record on the line with a first match against ex-Bolton League side Egerton. And with the hosts occupying second spot it is a match with huge ramifications.

Ahead of their maiden voyage into the unknown Bradley insists his side will be focusing on their own game, rather than worrying about the opposition.

"It is a team we've never played before, obviously they are a good side and up near the top," he said. "They haven't lost since the opening match so they are in good form.

"I expect we are in for a tough game but then I'm sure they will think the same. It's a match between the top two sides so hopefully the weather will get better for this one and we get a decent crowd in.

"We haven't played them before and though you can see what stats they are putting up you can't get that much idea of what to expect. We are just concentrating on on hitting our own skills, we are confident and in decent nick so we'll look forward to it."

If Egerton are studying the season's stats they will find Bradley's men excelling with bat and ball. In Marty Walters and James Wharmby they have the top-flight's third and fourth ranked batsmen while spinner Bradley is second only to Clifton's Liam Hurt in the bowling stakes, 10th-placed Sam Holden offering excellent support to his skipper. For good measure Wharmby is among the leading men in the field with seven catches and three stumpings to his name.

Their skills will also be tested in a last-16 cup match on Sunday at Heywood, a match they will approach with confidence, given their earlier meeting this year.

"Heywood is a team we know a bit more about," continued Bradley. "We have already played them in the league this year and won quite comfortably. It is a different kettle of fish in the cup though, for instance your bowlers can only get through 10 overs each.

"It's another good ground to go and play cricket and a team we know a bit about but again we'll be concentrating on ourselves. We have clear plans and we believe they will stand us in good stead."