Skipper backs Haverhill to continue to perform

SIX-WICKET HAUL: Haverhill's bowling prodigy Harry Harding recorded his second six-wicket game of the 2017 season in the team's victory over Braintree
SIX-WICKET HAUL: Haverhill's bowling prodigy Harry Harding recorded his second six-wicket game of the 2017 season in the team's victory over Braintree

Haverhill’s cricket captain has said his team ‘notoriously fold under pressure’ but was backing them to overcome this, following their crucial victory over bottom-placed Braintree.

Adam Dellar said he had ‘every faith’ the team could win their remaining three fixtures and climb out of the danger zone, regardless of whether two or three teams are eventually demoted from the division.

The number relegated will be decided by the final table in the East Anglian Premier League — if Bury St Edmunds are demoted, then three teams will need to drop into Division Two to maintain the number of teams in the league.

Haverhill currently lie in 11th place of 12 in Division One on 202 points, but are only 16 points adrift of eighth-placed Mistley on 218 points — with 20 points available for each victory.

Dellar said the eight-wicket victory over Braintree was a ‘really important win’ to kick off their relegation battle.

“It’s job well done really”. he said. “Harry Harding led the way again with his bowling, his game really came together.

“And Anthony Phillips played really well with the bat too.

“The combination of great bowling from Harry and great batting from Ant was really pleasing to see. We comfortably won.”

Haverhill (115-2) won the toss and elected to field first, bowling Braintree all out for 111 runs within 39 overs.

Sixteen-year-old Harding made a big difference, Dellar said, as he recorded his second six-wicket haul of the season — following the first against Worlington — at a cost of only 19 runs.

Chris Palmer picked up two wickets and Ben Wilkins and Mark Barrell picked up one apiece.

With the bat, Dellar (23) and Steve Fox (18) were the only wickets Braintree were able to fell, as the team comfortably hit their target.

Phillips reached his half-century and was on 54 not out at the game’s conclusion, partnered by Palmer on six not out.

“It was a really good all-round performance,” Dellar reflected. “Ant and Harry have had a really good season but not everyone else has.

“I hope the whole team are looking forward to the challenge of avoiding relegation.

“I have every faith we can beat the teams left — Halstead, Maldon and Worlington — and that’s what we want to do.

“We notoriously don’t respond well to pressure but we seem to be doing much better with the pressure on at the minute.

“I hope it continues for the last three games.”

n Haverhill travel to play Halstead on Saturday (12pm).