PRESTATYN’S feint hopes of a top two finish were dealt a blow as they suffered a narrow 20-run defeat to St Helen’s Town.
A century from Danny Davies was not enough to claim the points at Beach Close against the Liverpool and District Division One relegation candidates, and Gareth Boughey’s side will look to bounce back this Saturday when they visit promotion chasing Rainford.
Club captain David Harris said: "It was a game we looked like winning and our batting has once again let us down.
"This seems to be happening every week now and I have told our middle order that they owe us some runs this week, against what is one of the best sides in the division.
"St Helen's have been a bit of a bogey team for us over the last few years but you still expect to get a result, especially as we were cruising at one stage."
Having won the toss, the hosts elected to field and overseas star Sampath Perera wasted no time in taking the prized wickets of Ryan Donnelly and Reginald Gray, who were both removed for ducks in a devastating opening spell.
Things looked even more promising when Kieron New removed David Gaskell (4) and captain Craig Woods (32), but the visitors’ resistance came from middle order batsmen Daniel Roberts (58) and James Davies, who made an unbeaten half century as the visitors declared on 220-7 after 48.3 overs.
All-rounder Daniel Williams was the pick of the Prestatyn bowlers and finished with figures of 3-44 off 10.3 overs.
The home side’s run chase got off to a positive start with stand-in skipper Boughey making 33 off 49 deliveries, and fellow opener Davies produced a mesmerising innings of 104, which included 16 boundaries before he was eventually dismissed by James Davies (3-63) with his side 178-6.
Davies was now given much help by the Prestatyn middle order, who once again failed to contribute a significant score with Perera (5), Ryan Westwell (6) and 14-year-old Sheil Sethi (8) all given out cheaply as they fell 20 runs short by finishing on 200 all out from 51 overs.
The result leaves Prestatyn in eighth position and are now just 21 points clear of safety ahead of Saturday’s game against second-placed Rainford, who come into the game on the back of a draw at league leaders Colwyn Bay.