Adam Dellar has responded positively to the team’s recent defeat to league leaders Elmstead, as he identifies last and next weekend’s fixtures as the most difficult.
Haverhill hosted an Elmstead side who are comfortably top of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One standings.
Despite losing by 56 runs, captain Dellar felt his team were competitive throughout, and took heart from the performances of his players.
With only five games remaining, and Saturday’s fixture away to second-placed Wivenhoe (1pm), he is counting every point.
“Although we were playing the top side in the division, we were very much in this game for large parts of it,” he said.
“In the run chase we lost wickets at the wrong time and ultimately fell short in the end.
“However, on a positive note, the seven bonus points might come in very useful at the end of the season.”
The loss follows a slight reprieve for the team who now lie just seven points below Frinton-on-Sea II and safety.
Frinton were docked 36 points after fielding an eligible player, Blake Reed, to take them into the relegation battle — it has not yet been confirmed but there is a chance up to three teams will be demoted from Division One at the end of the season.
The loss follows Haverhill’s victory over Mistley last Saturday — their first win since July 1 — and there was hope of following up, but the 210-9 target set by Elmstead proved too much to reach.
Dellar won the toss and elected to field on a track that looked to favour the bowlers.
The captain decided to open the bowling with two spinners, bringing an early reward for Harry Harding (10-1-23-2), who picked up two wickets.
At 64-3, the home side had restricted the Elmstead top order to about two runs per over before the run rate went up.
The Elmstead innings wrapped up on 210-9.
The Haverhill reply started slowly, with Dellar (35) and Anthony Phillips (18) taking their time against an accurate Elmstead bowling attack.
At the half way stage, Haverhill were 65-2 and well in the game, but a mid-order collapse saw them lose three wickets in quick succession as victory slipped away.
Only Josh Ruthven (27) made a significant contribution as the Haverhill lower order collapsed.
The Haverhill innings came to a close when the last wicket fell on 154, and they lost by 56 runs.