A MATCH-WINNING knock from Denton West pro Semila Seyibokwe proved to be the difference as Greater Manchester League Premier Division leaders Prestwich fell to only their second defeat of the season.

Second-placed Egerton took full advantage, beating Denton St Lawrence to cut the gap to only two points.

But while Prestwich captain Andy Bradley knows the title race is still in their hands, he admits he left Tameside wondering what could have been.

"Their pro was the difference between the two sides (after hitting 73 from 67 balls) but it could have been very different as we dropped him twice and felt he should have been out lbw before I eventually got him out," said Bradley.

"You can't do anything about decisions that don't go your way, but we can do something about our fielding.

"You don't drop the pro, especially not twice."

By the time Seyibokwe was finally caught by Sam Holden off the bowling of Bradley, who went on to claim 4-57, Denton West were already motoring along at 135-4 in a match reduced to 28 overs due to rain.

They eventually made 181-8, with Hamish Dunlop (28) and John McAllister (22) making significant contributions to the score.

The top four Prestwich batsmen all made decent starts to their innings, but none were able to turn the game in their favour as they fell well behind the run-rate before finishing on 142-6.

Prestwich were 60-2 off 12.2 overs by the time both openers were back in the pavilion, with James Wharmby reaching 30 from 43 balls and Ryan Stanbury hitting 28 from 29.

Marty Walters, the club pro, was well set on a run-a-ball 25 after putting on 57 for the third wicket with Holden, but when he was run out with Bradley's men needing 65 from 42 balls their hopes went with him.

Holden went on to finish unbeaten on 45 but with Prestwich 39 runs short of their target.

"It was a bad day at the office all round, really," said Bradley.

"We didn't bat or bowl as well as we can do and when you drop their pro twice and run out your own pro you know it isn't going to be your day.

"It is not the end of the world though. We are still two points ahead and will be champions if we win our remaining games, so the title race is still in our hands.

"One thing we have in our favour is that we work very hard on our game, especially our fielding.

"That is the one aspect of cricket were hard work always pays off.

"You might never be a fantastic bowler or batsman if you don't have the right physical attributes, but I believe everyone can become a fantastic fielder with hard work.

"We spoke about that and a few other things in the dressing room after the game, and will work on them in training this week and I would back us to return to winning ways against Heywood on Saturday."

l Tickets and sponsors tables are available for a charity T20 match between PCA England Masters and a Prestwich XI at the Heys Road club on Friday, August 5.

Lancashire legend Neil Fairbrother will lead the masters team, which will also include ex-England players Owais Shah, Richard Blakey, Usman Afzaal and Alex Tudor, with more names to be announced.

The game will start at 4pm and entry is £5 per adult, including a programme, with children admitted free.

To find out more, contact club chairman Brian Lorenzini on 07850 947534 or email brian@prestwichsport.com