AFTER a memorable victory over local rivals Chester County Officers the previous week, Ellesmere Port were condemned to defeat at a rain-soaked Sandbach on Saturday.
And it was the weather rather than the cricket that proved to make the difference as the farcical conditions conspired against the Port, with the hosts knocking off their total of 80.
Skipper Phil Ashton fumed: 'It's a joke that we even played. After last week, the boys were really looking forward to this game but it didn't turn out to be an enjoyable afternoon of cricket.
'Their captain was wrong to say it was perfect conditions for cricket when we asked them if it should be postponed during the journey there, especially as it was raining heavily when we arrived.
'And what a farce it turned out to be when we actually started. Their bowler slipped over after the first ball and even the umpires couldn't stay on their feet.
'This is not sour grapes because it wasn't even the result
or the points awarded that has annoyed me. It's the fact the game was played when it gave such a disadvantage to one side. At the end of the day, Sandbach winning the toss decided the contest.'
After pacing themselves early on, the Port - put into bat - were stopped in their tracks by a downpour after only 10 overs. The match didn't re-
start for more than an hour, by which point the visitors' overs were heavily reduced.
In the end, the Port reached a total of 80 off 33 overs, a score which was beaten by the hosts off 27 overs as the weather turned favourably for Sandbach and left Ashton and his team cursing the rain.
Sandbach took 20 points, Port three.