RAIN has frustrated Somerset’s bid to press for a title-winning victory on the third morning of the Specsavers County Championship with Essex at the Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton.

No play was possible before lunch, which was due to be taken at 12.40pm.

Essex, only needing a draw to finish as champions, were set to resume their first innings on 25 without loss, in reply to 203.

With the pitch having done plenty for the seamers and spinners, Somerset went into the day still harbouring hopes of bowling their opponents out twice.

But a match already severely affected by the weather was further curtailed by showers throughout the morning and every drop of rain that fell strengthened Essex hopes of taking the title for the second time in three years.