A WEEKEND washout left cricketers from Braintree and Witham still sat top of their respective perches in the race for Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship titles.

Just one game across both of the league’s top two tiers - between Halstead and Hadleigh in division one - saw a finish as heavy rain across the eastern part of the country left Saturday’s action mainly washed out.

Braintree are still 40 points clear at the top of division two after the wet weather hit the second tier even more than the top flight as no games were completed and the standings were largely unruffled.

While it was frustrating not to see action, Braintree skipper Louis Cant felt the washout may have worked in his team's favour.

He said: "If anything, we have still gained an advantage over the chasing pack as they now have one less game to chase us down.

"If some teams had played it may be a different story, but with every game called off, I think it has worked in our favour."

Braintree will be hoping for drier conditions on Saturday when they resume their quest for the division two title with a trip to Elmstead.

They are likely to be depleted, but Cant knows other can step up.

He added: "We just need to make sure we prepare properly before the game, do all of the basics well and know that the opposition are in exactly the same position as us.

"It’s marginal gains that will give us the advantage this week.

"Quite honestly, though, we have a lot of key players missing.

"But it’s a great opportunity for many players to show what they can do and prove they should be a larger part of the team."

Meanwhile, Witham, who were leading division one by 14 points at the start of the day after a run of eight back-to-back victories, did manage to see some action last weekend as they welcomed second-placed Wivenhoe to the Park.

The game between the top two was reduced to 40 overs per side because of the prospect of wet weather and, having won the toss, Witham elected to bowl first.

The leaders were hoping to make early inroads into the Wivenhoe batting line-up to try to skittle them out cheaply and then chase down a modest total before rain set in.

However, the visitors scuppered that by posting 79 for the first wicket.

By the time Wivenhoe opener Matt Durrell was bowled by Greg Stephens, they had a platform established, but wickets did then start to fall as Witham captain Jake Wakelin bowled the other member of Wivenhoe’s top pairing, Jordan Nicholls.

Overseas player Dirk Bruwer managed to post a score of 29 from 55 balls, but the Witham bowlers were typically ruthless once they were into the visiting line-up and from 105 for two, Wivenhoe could only post 180 for nine from their 40 overs. Wakelin led the way with the ball for Witham with three for 26, while Stephens collected three for 48.

However, there was no chance for the Witham batsmen to stage a run chase as the rain came during the interval and the game was abandoned with both sides picking up ten points apiece.

That meant the status quo was maintained between division one’s leading pair, although there was a change just below them as Hadleigh’s nine-wicket win in a 25-over game against struggling Halstead, meant Hadleigh moved above Coggeshall and up to third.

Witham are still 14 points clear of Wivenhoe, with a four-point gap then to Hadleigh, who Wakelin’s side are due to travel to on Saturday.