PRESTWICH'S championship credentials were firmly put to the test on Saturday as they lost out by 25 runs in a gritty game against Denton West.

Seventeen-year-old Andy Taylor turned in a five-star performance, taking 6 for 44 and then hitting an unbeaten 33.

While his side fell short of the target, they managed to gain a point, thus restricting the visitors to three, to prevent them from leapfrogging over Prestwich in the league.

Prestwich were without their influential paceman Chris Humphreys through injury, and West, known for their fluent run-scoring, were in a hurry to capitalise.

Openers Gareth Senior and Barrie Williams smashed 29 runs off the first six overs as both Taylor and John Walters failed to find their rhythm.

But then an outstanding catch at mid wicket by John Walsh to dismiss Senior, who must have been expecting the umpire to signal six, started a resurgence.

Taylor got into his stride, bowling pro Perera for 0 when he offered no shot, and the early introduction of spinner Craig Duxbury halted the run flurry.

But that did not stop the eager West batsmen trying to bludgeon the bowling, and wickets fell at regular intervals. Only a masterful innings from Williams held them together.

Colin Higginson chipped in with two wickets after Taylor's opening spell to see West slump to 89 for 6.

After a slight rally, Duxbury forced Williams to commit his one and only error, top edging a sweep to man-in-the-action Taylor for a classy 85.

Teetering on 135 for 9, a last wicket stand between Gledson and Holmes added a valuable 25 before a smart stumping by Ian Walker gave Taylor his sixth victim.

The home side found themselves at 15-2 as Carl Hey, who had earlier notched his 50th first team catch, saw his leg stump knocked back with a fine delivery from Sample.

Walker then fell dubiously lbw to a Steve Hampson full toss, and when Duxbury was trapped lbw by Sample, they were 33 for 3.

A mini-revival was being staged by Steven Lorenzini (12) and skipper Steve Orrell (16) before Orrell fell foul of a second controversial lbw decision to Hampson.

Lorenzini top edged a pull shot to be caught by Perera off his bowling and Prestwich were wavering at 56 for 5.

Another fruitful partnership was being built by Taylor and Mercer (14) until Hampson struck again, and this time there was no doubt as he took Mercer's middle stump.

At 86 for 7, John Walsh showed some neat strokeplay before edging to wicketkeeper Williams for 10, and when Walters was run out attempting an ambitious second run, Prestwich called off the run chase.

Taylor and Higginson deteminedly played out the last few overs to ensure a vital point was gained.



G Senior c Walsh b Taylor...11

B Williams c Taylor b Duxbury...85

W Perera b Taylor...0

I Zaman c Walker b Taylor...6

S Hampson b Duxbury...2

S Hague c Mercer b Higginson...2

K Sample c Hey b Higginson...3

S Shipman lbw Taylor...7

N Danby b Taylor...3

P Gledson st Walker b Taylor...9

A Holmes not out...14





48.2 overs

Taylor 13.2-1-44-6; Walters 4-0-24-0; Duxbury 20-7-41-2; Higginson 8-2-32-2; Lorenzini 3-0-8-0.


C Hey b Sample...8

C Duxbury lbw Sample...18

I Walker lbw Hampson...0

S Lorenzini c and b Perera...12

S Orrell lbw Hampson...16

A Taylor not out...33

P Mercer b Hampson...14

G Barnes lbw Hampson...1

J Walsh c Williams b Sample...10

J Walters run out...3

C Higginson not out...7



Total (for 9)...133


51 overs

Sample 15-3-45-3; Hampson 25-7-48-4; Perera 11-2-32-1.