Middleton CC will look to keep their hold on a top three finish when they head to struggling Cuckfield tomorrow (11.30am).
Sean Heather’s side are just two points ahead of Preston Nomads in the race for third spot in the Sussex Premier Division.
Hopes of Middleton closing the gap on the two sides above them were dashed last weekend when they lost a remarkable run-fest at home to second-place Brighton & Hove.
The visitors held their nerve to chase down 343 with five wickets and seven balls to spare.
Middleton will want to put that agonising defeat behind them tomorrow when they head to a rejuvenated Cuckfield who have lost just once of their past four.
That run of form has been enough to put some breathing space between them and the drop zone.
But sitting third from bottom they know that a loss to Middleton tomorrow could mean they end the weekend in the relegation places.
For Heather’s side, they will want to take some of the positives from a fine batting performance against Brighton & Hove.
The foundations were laid by Harry Hovey who smashed 110 off 105 balls to dismantle a strong Brighton attack.
Along with captain Heather (76), the pair put on a remarkable 195 before Hovey was caught off the bowling of Revathi Kumar Kanuri.
The onslaught was continued by the skipper and Mahesh Rawat, whose unbeaten 83 off 49 balls powered Middleton to a formidable looking score of 343.
But Brighton & Hove were not to be deterred and their openers managed to outdo their opponents.
Both Sussex CCC player Luke Wells (159) and young Bryce Hounsome (105) scored centuries in a 268-run opening stand. That made the chase relatively easy for the middle order with even a late flurry of wickets not enough to prevent the visitors from reaching the score with seven balls to spare.