THE rain on Saturday had a major effect on Sussex League games and play was possible in only two Premier Division games.
That allowed Horsham to steal a march on their title rivals with a home win against Eastbourne.
Eastbourne’s relegation worries increased as Bexhill enjoyed a five-wicket win against Brighton & Hove, who have now joined the clubs with worries at the bottom of the table.
Preston Nomads, Hastings and Roffey all suffered from having their matches abandoned without a ball being bowled.
At Horsham, Sussex players Ben Brown and Luke Wells played for bottom club Eastbourne but it was Naved Arif Gondal who impressed with bat and ball for victorious Horsham.
Eastbourne were restricted to 160-8 declared from 58 overs, with Calum Jackson making 42 and sharing a fifth-wicket stand of 67 with Matt Green (25).
Naved Arif took 3-30 and there were two wickets each for Devon Endersby and Owain Jones.
Horsham won with some comfort at 164-5 from 33 overs as John Burroughs made 51 and Naved Arif 50.
The young Bexhill side performed with distinction at home to Brighton, who they put in after winning the toss and dismissed them for 181.
Teenage spinners Jamie Bristow-Diamond took 5-25 and Calum Guest 4-38.
Top scorer for the visitors was Steven Crosby who made 49.
In reply for Bexhill, skipper Malcom Johnson made 49, Tim Hambridge 57 not out and Cameron Burgon 39 not out.
The pick of the Brighton bowlers was Chris Atherton, who took 4-69.
Chichester are anything but consistent but a 77-run win at East Grinstead has kept them in touch with the group at the top, they now lie fourth.
Chichester reached 200-9 from 53 overs with 91 from Chris Kirkham and 44 from skipper Mark Bamford as Ian Sturmer took 5-49.
The home side then tumbled to 123 all out despite 52 from James Adkin. Adam Zampa’s leg spin was rewarded with figures of 5-25 and Matt Geffen took 3-33.
In Division 2, Three Bridges remain top despite the abandonment of their game against bottom club Sidley but Goring have moved into second place after an impressive win at Cuckfield.
Haywards Heath won for the second week in succession, by 121 runs at Ifield who lie fourth.
Goring put home side Cuckfield in to bat and sent them crashing to 109 all out as Matt Keen took 4-32 and there were two wickets each for Brad Page, Ross Baumann and Aaron Wyatt.
Tom Mole, with 22, was top scorer for Cuckfield.
In reply, Goring reached 110-4 with Dan Pitham making 47 not out and Ben Cartwright 39 not out.
Glynde rattled up 232-2 declared at Findon with Joe Adams making 131 not out and Dominic Shepheard 67.
But the match was abandoned due to rain with Findon 107-3, of which Jack Metters made 74 not out.
Haywards Heath reached 187-9 declared after being put in at Ifield.
Opener Jethro Manzies hit 71 in that total as Russell Jacob took 4-40 and Ali Swart 4-41.
But the home side were sent packing at 66 all out as Dan Strange took 4-12, Rizwan Vahora 4-11 and Fynn Hudson-Prentice 2-23 to bowl Haywards Heath to a 121-run victory.
The game at St James was abandoned due to rain with visiting Pulborough in a strong position.
They made 181-7 declared in 38 overs in a match reduced in length with 78 from Sachin Chaudury and 67 from Rohit Jagota, for the home side Michael Murray took 4-42.
When rain finally ended play, St James were struggling at 58-5, with Kuldeep Rawat taking 3 for 19.
There was little change in Division 3 West with only one definite result due to the weather.
The rain relented sufficiently at Middleton to allow a 20/20 game to be played between the top two sides and it was the visitors from Bognor who extended their lead at the top by a further six points claiming a 18-run win.
Elliott Clarke made 42 in Bognor’s innings of 147-5 while Middleton’s reply fell short at 129-8.
One player on either side dominated the game at Slinfold where the rain put paid to a potentially tight finish.
Slinfold were 146 all out, of which 91 came from the bat of Hayden McIntyre. Matt Travena took 9-45 but Wisborough Green’s reply was eventually curtailed at 101-7.
Littlehampton were set 210 to try and claim a first win of the campaign after Harrison Temple made 66 and Ryan Chitty 62 not out in the Arundel innings but the match was then abandoned at tea.
Only eight overs were possible at Steyning and none whatsoever at Pagham.