Havant and Stanmore are set to lock horns for a third time at Havant Park tomorrow (SUN) to decide their protracted ECB Club Championship quarter-final - and neither side is the least bit happy about it !

Given a fair wind - or, at least, a decent pitch to play on - it should have all been tied up a fortnight ago.

Havant travelled to the farthest point on the London Underground's Jubilee Line on July 28, only to have the seventh round tie against the North Middlesex club abandoned after eight overs.

The ball leapt in all heights and directions off the Stanmore pitch - mainly over the head of wicketkeeper Steve Snell - which was deemed too dangerous to continue.

The ECB ordered a replay at the Park last Sunday - and Havant duly progressed to 185-8 before the heaven's opened with Stanmore's reply marooned (literally) at 5-0 two overs after tea.

A half-hour downpour of near Biblical proportions flooded the Havant Park square to a depth of almost 6", rending it totally unfit and putting any "bowl-out" to decide the affair totally out of the question.

That sparked a row between the clubs - Havant claiming that Stanmore chairman Ross Chiese had agreed after the previous weekend's pitch debacle that, if no result was possible at the Park last Sunday, the London club would concede and allow Havant through to the semi-finals.

There was no sign of the Middlesex Premier League club's chairman when the latest rumpus began last Sunday teatime.

But Havant did have in their possession a copy of a confirmatory e-mail from Chiese, the contents of which, it appeared at the time, the Stanmore captains and players knew little about.

"We had an agreement with their chairman that, if there was no result in the replay at Havant last Sunday, we would go through," said Havant skipper Dominic Carson.

"When the game was rained off last week, Stanmore went back on their word saying the e-mail didn't convey exactly what their chairman meant."

Stanmore spent over an hour after last Sunday's match had been abandoned pressing the Sussex-based umpires to force a "bowl out" - but the aquatic conditions ruled it out of the question.

"Quite where we were supposed to have it, I've no idea," said Carson.

"The square was under water, the net surfaces were waterlogged and you could barely stand up on the outfield, let alone try and run up on it."

The impasse left the ECB's cricket department to act as referee and arbiter - with Havant demanding they should be awarded the game.

It sparked off a frantic 48 hours of telephone calls and e-mailed letters to Lord's, who eventually decided that Havant should host a second replay tomorrow.

That didn't please Stanmore, who had already coughed up Havant's travelling expenses from the aborted July 28 trip to North London and would now have to pay for a second trip to the south coast inside eight days.

Essex Premier League champions Saffron Walden await the winners - always assuming there is an outcome to the Havant-Stanmore saga !