Haywards Heath frustrated as rain wrecks East Grinstead encounter
Haywards Heath CC went into their Premier Division home game will East Grinstead CC full of confidence, although they were again missing skipper Callum Smith and all-rounder Jethro Menzies.
Stand-in captain Jonny Phelps won the toss again put EG into bat.
Max Barson (3-43) and Charlie Henry (2-22) took the new ball and bowled in good areas making the EG batsmen play.
It was Henry who took the first wicket, that of in-form Leo Cammish (six).
It was Henry again who put Tom Haynes (duck) out of his misery, this time Phelps taking the catch at first slip.
Then came an interruption in play. The umpires asked the players to leave the field under clear skies due to rumbles of thunder.
EG rallied when play resumed with Will Adkin playing the anchor role and with young Tom Hinley the aggressor. Hinley (20) finally perished to Barson, Henry Simms taking a regulation catch behind.
Skipper Darryl Rebbetts lasted three balls when Barson bowled a beauty of a yorker and he was on his way without scoring.
Toby Margetts was Barson’s next victim, edging to Simms for no score. EG were now 60-5 and rocking.
Henry took a rest and all-rounder Ben Matthew (3-23) was introduced.
He had Iain Sturmer (nine) caught behind and then had Bradley Hatchett playing on for the fourth duck of the innings.
EG were 75-8 when Adkin fell for 24. Andy Barr and Lewis Hatchett then tried to build some momentum but Barr was next to go, offering a tame return catch to Phelps (1-4) in his first over for 22.
The innings was wrapped up on 97 when Lewis Hatchett was lbw on the back leg to Matthew for eight.
With Lewis Hatchett (2-26) fired up Heath were soon in trouble at 6-2 with Jonny Young done for pace for two and Barson shouldering arms first ball.
Shelton Forbes (21) joined Phelps (18) at the crease and the pair batted superbly, taking their time to rebuild the innings which had the makings of a collapse.
With the score on 48-2, the game had its first proper break in play for a heavy downpour.
The umpires came out to inspect when the sun returned, and were concerned following some advice from Lewis Hatchett that the runs up were too wet.
After a half an hour delay the umpires called the game off and the captains shook hands.
Heath remain second-from-bottom but are just two points adrift of place-above Middleton CC.
The two teams meet at Middleton Sports Club this Saturday in a huge game at the foot of the table.