Sussex League: James Kirtley's omission from the England team could have a major impact on the title race.

Kirtley was left out of the final XI at Chester-le-Street yesterday, allowing him to play in the Championship for Sussex.

That in turn clears the way for Paul Hutchison to chase a third five-for of the season for Steyning as they continue to lead the Shepherd Neame competition.

Steyning have come a long way in recent years from the Invitation League to top spot in the premier county division.

Even they must have been bemused, however, to find Nasser Hussain having an influence on their team selection.

Skipper Giles Haywood had his line-up virtually finalised on Tuesday and joked: "It was like, 'Come on Nasser, make your mind up'.

"I would imagine Hutch will play for us now and that's a big bonus."

Jeremy Green in unavailable but Steyning will still be full of confidence as they host Brighton and Hove.

Haywood added: "They are a good side, they have been for years, but we will be as positive as possible."

Second-placed Hastings should have Michael Yardy back at Worthing, who must decide whether to bring back Anthony Aduhene, now clear of suspension.

Worthing opener Dominic Clapp, who has been playing for Gloucestershire 2nd XI this week, will be chasing a third successive league ton.

Horsham do not expect to make major changes at home to East Grinstead, despite their poor batting display at Hastings last week.

Three Bridges, however, have bolstered their batting after throwing away a winning position against Grinstead.

Krishana Singh and James Chadburn go straight into the side to face Eastbourne on their return from university.