PRESTWICH captain Sam Holden says his side will end 2019 having achieved a pre-season goal by winning the GMCL’s Twenty20 Cup last month.

Holden and co hammered Denton West by 100 runs in the final to qualify for last Sunday’s Area Finals Day, in which they lost their semi-final against Cheshire Premier League side Toft.

Holden hailed a stunning unbeaten 110 off 59 balls from Dan Pawson in the league final, which underpinned their 194-2 before Denton were bowled out for 94.

Pawson smashed 11 fours and seven sixes batting at number three.

Saturday’s Premier League home clash with Clifton was rained off, leaving them in sixth place with seven wins from 17. But Holden said: “We’re really pleased with the T20.

“It was an aim of ours at the start of the season to focus more on the T20 stuff because we have such a powerful and explosive batting line-up.

“Sometimes that can be our downfall in the longer format, but we have a brilliant team and formula for T20.

“In the past, it’s been a case of turn up on a Friday after work with no warm-ups and see how it goes. But we put a real focus on it this time, and it’s paid off.

“We beat Clifton in the semi-final and Danny Pawson’s hundred was quite remarkable in the final.

“The Area Finals Day was a bit of a bonus. It was initially rained off at Checkley in Staffordshire and had to be moved to Toft because Checkley hosted a Minor Counties game.

“We got the toughest draw in Toft, but winning the league comp was the main thing.”

Prestwich also reached the quarter-finals of the Derek Kay Trophy, won by Denton St Lawrence, a competition which Holden and his players love playing in.

There is currently a lot of talk around the country, not just the North West, about the structure of league cricket, with teams struggling to field teams due to a heavy schedule of fixtures.

Bolton League champions and current league leaders Walkden, for example, conceded a T20 game earlier in the season because they could not field a side having had fixtures on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

And Holden, while largely happy with the way the GMCL is structured, has suggested a way of preventing such issues occurring in the future would be to move their T20 competition from Friday nights to Sundays.

“It’s a great cup, and the fans love watching it, but it needs reviewing,” he added.

“I don’t think it should be played on Friday evenings.

“With a bit of flexibility to teams who do well in cups such as the Lancs and National Knockouts, it could be a Sunday tournament so players aren’t rushing after work and sometimes turning up late. It’s just a big rush.

“There’s some really good teams in our T20. Roe Green are one that springs to mind. But they had a lot of lads working, so we ended up playing against four or five second-teamers.

“It’s a minor tinker, nothing more, because the changes the GMCL made to the Derek Kay this year – 40 overs, a pink ball and coloured clothing – I think have been brilliant.

“We got to the quarter-finals and love playing in it. But there are enough Sundays free to accommodate both.”