PAGHAM CC received a blow to their title credentials after suffering an away defeat to Preston Nomads Seconds.
The Nyetimber Lane side have been in fine form with the bat and the ball this season, as they sit second in Sussex Division Three.
But hopes of winning the title narrowed after the three wicket defeat at the Nomads.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Aiden Zammit (34) and skipper Stuart Hanks (41) laid a solid platform for Pagham, putting on a half-century stand.
But, aside from useful contributions from Ryan Barratt (33) and Kevin Condon (26), the rest of the side struggled and they were eventually dismissed for 183.
In reply, Pagham struck early taking two quick wickets. But Nomads rallied and reached the total with three wickets in hand.
Pagham will hope to close the gap on leaders Crawley Eagles as they take on local rivals and third-placed Chichester Priory Park tomorrow (12.30pm) at Priory Park.
Meanwhile, division five west outfit Pagham Seconds cruised to a 115-run over Findon Seconds thanks a century from Stuart Rutter.
The opener scored exactly 100 which, combined with a swift unbeaten 39 from Thomas Kent, helped Pagham to 242 for 7 declared.
Kent then took three for 16 with the ball as the visitors were bowled out for 127.
The seconds will be looking to make the most out of home conditions once more when they welcome Billingshurst seconds to Nyetimber Lane tomorrow (12.30pm).