Haverhill will need to be up for the battle on Saturday as they travel to Witham in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.
The Essex side were the surprise package in Division One last season when having narrowly avoided relegation in 2014 they went on to finish second behind Sudbury.
Haverhill captain Adam Dellar will be without key all-rounder Dan Poole, who is involved in a bowls tournament, but he knows whatever XI takes to the field on Saturday (1pm start) they will have to be at their grittiest to take anything from the match.
“It’s going to be tough but we’ve got to be up for the challenge, as we have to be for every game. Let’s hope we can put in a bit of a performance and cause a surprise.
“Everybody in the league will probably expect us to lose so it’s a chance for the boys to go out there and surprise a few people.
“The boys have just got to execute those fundamental skills well and play hard and be up for a battle and we have not been able to do that in previous years, we have kind of gone down too easily.
“We just have to play with fun. Witham play with lots of fun and that’s why they win lots of games. They are all good friends and they enjoy it and that shows.”
Haverhill’s opening match at home to Frinton II was called off last Saturday due to the rain. Only one fixture survived in the league.
Haverhill: Dellar (c), Palmer, Humphrey, Pass, Phillips, Wilkins, W Bailey, Ruthven, Smith, Kettle, N Brunning.