Their scheduled home match with OTs & Romsey II at Jones Lane was cancelled due to heavy overnight rain.
But leading challengers Parley played – and lost by 34 runs to Easton & Martyr Worthy !
The result caused a shuffle of the pack at the top, with Hythe taking a handy 13-point lead into the last two games at Burridge (on Saturday) and St Cross Symondians III, both of which they should win.
Fareham & Crofton, seven-wicket winners at Bishops Waltham, are now second.
Parley’s defeat in the Cockets Mead rain brought an angry reaction from their coach/manager Keith Clarke.
He described it as “one of our worst fielding performances of the season, with vital and timely dropped catches and 45 extras conceded.
“There was disappointment throughout the side, but we came second because much of the damage was self-inflicted.
Only skipper Alex Nippard (55), who made almost half Parley’s 126, chasing an abridged 160 off 39 overs. Easton earlier made 204-8.
Asked to make a weather trimmed 186 off 31 overs, Fareham found themselves in a spot of bother at 48-3, but Steve Berryman (72) and hockey star Luke Cornish (68) shared an unbroken and match winning stand of 139.
Former leaders Ropley crashed by nine wickets to Alton II, regular first team opener Michael Heffernan hitting an unbeaten 72.
Andover’s first five batsmen all bagged ducks as the Lions’ seconds unsuccessfully chased a Longparish total of 235-9 in the Test Valley derby.
Andover II are in the relegation bottom three with Rowledge II and United Services, who won a second consecutive match, beating the Surrey county border side by seven wickets.
Bedhampton Mariners will be crowned County 2 champions if they beat South Wilts III at Bemerton on Saturday.
Progressive New Forest village side Sway are eyeing second place after a five-wicket haul by teenager Dan Bailey (5-23) and Alex Hall’s 68 not out secured a comfortable win at Fair Oak.