PRESTWICH captain Sam Holden spoke of “one of those games” after Sunday’s home defeat on fewer wickets lost to Bowdon in the ECB National Knockout first round.

Last season’s GMCL Premier Division runners-up were beaten by the Cheshire County League side as both sides finished on 185.

However, Bowdon only lost eight wickets to Prestwich’s nine and advanced as a result.

There were stages where both sides let positions of strength slip.

Much-changed Prestwich recovered impressively from 66-7 to 185-9 thanks to 47 from Holden and 41 from last man Nathan Bailey.

Then, in reply, Bowdon recovered from 57-4 through a fifth-wicket century partnership between Nathan Oliver, who top-scored with 67, and Daniel Gomersall (43).

But the visitors fell from 182-5 in the penultimate over to 184-8, with new signing Danny Pawson, twice, and Ryan Stanbury striking to set up a frenetic finale.

Stanbury almost defended three off the last over and two off the last ball to secure a Prestwich win.

“With one ball left, they needed one to tie and two to win,” said Holden.

“Their lad on strike just tapped it and ran. We’re all close in, but our pro (Ali Azmat) has missed with an underarm throw to the non-striker’s end when he was short of his ground.

“We should have won from the position they were in early in their innings. They were four down and had a big partnership.

“We dropped five catches, including three of them with the lad who got 60.

“The National Knockout is a good opportunity for us to give some youngsters a go. We do it each year.

“I batted at number eight. Young Jack Doyle opened the batting, and we also brought in Aaryaman Roy, a promising player at Manchester Grammar School.

“They won the toss and bowled, which is what I would have done.

“We didn’t get off to a good start, hardly any of the top order got runs, so we did alright from 66-7 to get 180.

“It was the first time we’d batted first this season, and the top order was tentative.

“On a pitch where it’s doing a bit, you’re always going to get one with your name on it if you’re not being positive.

“I don’t know much about Bowdon. But, going off previous scorecards, they might have been close to full strength. I think they were missing a bowler.

“We were missing three players.

“Andy Bradley is injured. That could be a big blow if he’s out for a while because he’s our best bowler.”

Prestwich have brought in all-rounder Ali Azmat as professional from Swinton Moorside and Pawson from Heywood, and Holden is confident of challenging champions Flixton again for the GMCL title.

“We’re in a good place,” he added.

“We played Woodhouses in the first league match last weekend, and they’re a bit of a bogey team for us. We’ve never been that brilliant at chasing, but we have more depth now and got over the line.”

Saturday’s league clash at Roe Green was rained off.