MENAI Bridge suffered their third defeat in four North Wales Cricket League Premier Division contests with a dramatic one-run home reverse to Gresford.

The title challengers fell narrowly short of claiming victory which now leaves them 22 points behind leaders Bangor, and Dion Holden’s side will look to close the gap this Saturday when they travel to Hawarden Park.

The home side got off to a good start in the field when Zach Ringrose and Paul Lucas took out the opening pair of Matty Thompson and Jack Bunkell for 13 and 27 respectively.

Ashley Wood then took over proceedings with a devastating spell which saw him claim the wickets of skipper Chris Ellwood (19), Alex Ellwood (6), Sean Richards (13), Gareth Bell (0) and Sam Thompson (2) to end a blistering 12 over spell with figures of 5-35.

The visiting resistance emerged in the form of Daniel Williams, who reached an impressive 51 before he was ousted by Arwel Thomas as Gresford were all out for 158 from 50 overs.

Bridge’s run chase got off to the worst possible start when the opening pair of Holden (2) and Jack Gower (7) exited the crease early on through Ellwood and Williams, while Thomas was caught off a John Bell delivery on 38.

Further double figure scores from Robbie Jones (27) and Matt Bixby (28) put them within a chance of triumphing, but despite an unbeaten 16 from Wood they were unable to claim the runs they needed off the final ball and fell one run short of getting something from the game (157-9).

Spin sensation Ellwood was the pick of the away bowlers, helping himself to three wickets for the loss of 33 runs.