Haywards Heath scuppered by the rain for the second week running
Haywards Heath CC were left to rue the weather for a second week running in their Premier Division game away at Middleton CC on Saturday.
Skipper Callum Smith returned to the team with all-rounder Jethro Menzies in the bottom-of-the-table clash at Middleton Sports Club.
Smith lost the toss and Middleton skipper Sean Heather elected to bat.
Openers Heather and Harry Hovey got Middleton off to a solid start but it was Max Barson (1-19) who dug one in at Hovey (42), who pulled to wide mid-on to be caught by Ben Matthew.
Heath then started to gain control, with spinners Ollie Bailey (2-63), Smith (0-29) and Jonny Phelps (3-60) settling into a rhythm and slowing the run rate down.
Wickets started to fall at regular intervals with Monty Morgan (eight) and the prize scalp of Heather (59) falling to Bailey and Phelps respectively.
The wickets of George Briance (15), Patrick Colvin (duck) and Mason Robinson (three) left Middleton on 156-6. Barson then ran out Matthew Reynolds for 11 and the score was 175-7 off 52 overs.
The first interruption for rain lasted half-an-hour and that seemed to rejuvenate the home side. They came out all guns blazing and smashed 80 runs off the final six overs.
During this time Mahesh Rawat brutally dispatched the Heath bowling to all parts, moving to a superb century and finishing with an unbeaten 101 off 72 balls, hitting five maximums.
Middleton finished on 257-8 off their 58 overs.
More rain fell in the interval but not enough to reduce the game. Heath's Phelps and Menzies hit their straps from ball one, albeit under dark skies.
In the first over, Phelps hit two fours and the game was on. Menzies was soon into his stride, hitting two maximums with one going straight on to the roof of the pavilion, leaving the members ducking for cover.
Phelps was in 20/20 mode, hitting the bad ball to all parts of the ground with ease. Then, sadly, came the next and last downpour, which was torrential and finished what could have been a classic with Heath on 88-0 off 13.2 overs.
Phelps bludgeoned 51 not out off 31 balls, including seven fours and a pair of sixes, while Menzies hit an unbeaten 31.
Heath are now unbeaten in five but will be counting themselves unlucky having got themselves into great positions in their last two games.
With the final four games being straight win-lose, Heath will consider they have a chance to beat the drop.
Next week Heath are at home to bottom side Hastings & St Leonards Priory CC.