SAYEID Ahmed provided the only crumbs of comfort as depleted Burnham Sports stumbled to disappointing defeats in rain-hit matches.
The first XI, having easily won their first two matches of the T.Rippon Mid-Essex League first division campaign, were missing a string of regular faces for their tough match away to Rettendon and lost by 66 runs.
Burnham’s second XI were similarly lacking in usual personnel and lost their local derby at home to Tillingham by five wickets.
Andy Stephens captained the firsts in the absence of Jamie Hamilton, the usual skipper, and Joel Whittaker, his vice, and put Rettendon into bat after winning the toss.
That decision was vindicated as the home side slipped to 26 for three, and then 72 for five.
Sayeid, having previously taken only one wicket in 69 previous matches for the firsts, opened the bowling and picked up three for 63 from his 12 overs.
He dismissed Huntingdon, Rettendon’s best player, cheaply thanks to a cool catch in the deep by Jack Silvester.
Fuad Ahmed, his younger brother, backed him up with a fine spell of two for 17 from seven overs but the rest of Burnham’s attack struggled to contain Snelling, who hit his team out of trouble with a forceful 72.
Rettendon were 195 for eight with a ball left of the 34th over when the rest of their innings was wiped out by rain.
Covers kept the wicket dry but the outfield was saturated, making boundaries hard to come by when Burnham set about chasing that tally.
Accurate bowling also hindered Sports, who struggled for momentum and limped to 70 for four after 24 overs.
A further 126 from the last ten overs was never on the cards, although, they did, belatedly give Rettendon some of their own medicine and ended on 129 for nine. Sayeid top-scored with 20, hitting two superb straight sixes.
Stephens said: “We got off to a great start and looked in with a serious chance when they were 70-odd for five but they then adopted a cavalier approach and, as a unit, we didn’t bowl well after that time.
“The game rather got away from us and then, once it had rained heavily, they bowled with great accuracy.
“We could never keep up with the clock.”
Burnham’s seconds were skittled out for 99 by their Tillingham counterparts, only Steve Sims (41) put up much of a fight.
Tillingham reached that target without too many alarms.
This Saturday, the firsts are at home to Souh Weald, while the seconds travel to Great Baddow thirds.