So close and yet so far for valiant Haverhill Knights in Suffolk T20 Cup final

FINAL SQUADS: Sudbury (on the left) faced the Haverhill Knights (right) in the Suffolk T20 Cup final
FINAL SQUADS: Sudbury (on the left) faced the Haverhill Knights (right) in the Suffolk T20 Cup final

Haverhill Knights, the cricket club’s T20 team, fell just two runs short of victory in the county cup final, against East Anglian Premier League leaders Sudbury.

The county-wide competition came to a nail biting conclusion on Sunday at The Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds.

GOOD AIM: Anthony Phillips of Haverhill runs out Sudburys Al Younger in the final

GOOD AIM: Anthony Phillips of Haverhill runs out Sudburys Al Younger in the final

Haverhill took on Copdock & Old Ipswichian in the last four, while Sudbury faced Felixstowe & Corinthians, to progress to the final by the narrow margin of three runs.

But the side, who have never reached the final before, were unable to repeat the close victory as they lost by two runs to leave them with a bittersweet feeling.

In the final, a half-century from club captain Adam Dellar gave the side a good chance, but ultimately they were unable to overcome the might of Sudbury.

The side, who reached the concluding stages for the first time since the county cup became a T20 competition last year, were ‘gutted’ to lose after coming so close to victory.

LEADING FROM THE FRONT: Club captain Adam Dellar hit another maximum of 50 to lead the team to the final

LEADING FROM THE FRONT: Club captain Adam Dellar hit another maximum of 50 to lead the team to the final

But T20 captain Dave Humphrey said the experience was invaluable for a young team still learning.

He said: “We played really well against some top sides and were a boundary away from pulling off what would have been a magnificent victory.

“I’m gutted for the boys — that we got so close — but hopefully we will all benefit from the experience and we can come back better and stronger next year.”

The rules of the cup dictate that each T20 side must field at least three under-18s and that every player must be deemed an amateur.

This includes the overseas players that play for most of the East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) and Two Counties teams that make up the Suffolk T20 Cup. Haverhill do not have an overseas player on their books.

Despite taking on a Sudbury side that consisted of several EAPL players, they came within two runs of catching The Talbots’ total of 165 for five — but ran out of overs to win.

The side played two games on Sunday, with the semi-final against another EAPL side in Copdock & Old Ipswichian, followed by the final.

It was a day of narrow margins for Haverhill, who managed to hold Copdock off by three runs as they set a total of 173-6. Copdock reached 170-7.

And in the final, Dellar hit a half-century before retiring — the maximum score permitted in the competition — to set the side up well. Haverhill (163-6) needed 11 runs off the last over to win and hit a six off the first ball, but Sudbury (165-5) were able to fend them off and win by two runs.