It’s not been easy for the Haverhill cricket faithful to keep believing — but hope is starting to shine through as the team recorded back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
Captain Adam Dellar said two standout performances by the team’s youngsters had made the difference.
Anthony Phillips’ maiden century over Maldon last week was followed by Harry Harding’s six wicket haul — for just five runs — sealing the weekend’s win against Worly.
“We’re at the half-way stage of the season now and it looks like things are starting to go our way,” Dellar said.
“In the last two games individual performances have made the real difference between winning or losing.
“Harry bowled tremendously, getting a good variety of wickets and showing how talented he is.
“And, of course, Anthony’s century last week was fantastic.
“I’ve been telling the boys to get out on the field and make it ‘their day’ and in the last two games, Anthony and Harry have done exactly that. It’s great to see them doing it.
“Hopefully this can continue in future games; I’m hoping that someone else will step forward with a star performance against Hadleigh this weekend.”
The game marks the start of the second half of the season, which is made up of reverse fixtures. As Hadleigh hosted Haverhill in the first game, the return match will be held at their Manor Road venue (1pm).
“It’s going to be a tough game, we lost to them in the first game of the season, but not by much,” he said.
“And we’re a much better team now, as our recent wins show. There will also be the home team advantage, which suits our bowlers.
“The Haverhill wicket is not particularly bouncy and it’s a bit slow — with five very good spinners in our ranks, this should play to our advantage.
“It’s going to be an exciting one I think, there’s a lot for both teams to play for.
“Unless something unexpected happens, I’ll be putting out the same team again.
“So the same team that secured wins in the last two games will be the one taking on Hadleigh.”
He added confidence had grown significantly as a result of the recent results — a much-needed boost for a team that were increasingly losing belief in their ability.
“Taking the first wicket off the first ball of the innings was massive for us against Worly,” he said.
“On a slow wicket, we were fairly happy with the amount of runs we posted, but we still knew we had to bowl well if we were going to win.
“And what a confidence boost it gave us, it just went from there really.
“Ben Wilkins and Will Bailey bowled well to get the first wickets and then Harry stepped in and just scattered the mid to tail end.
“Callum Brunning, although he didn’t get a wicket, bowled really well and kept the runs down too.
“We’re still disappointed by our batting. We recognise it’s probably the main area for improvement.
“But if we can continue to bowl out teams for less than a hundred runs, we don’t need to worry too much.
“There’s work still to do, but two wins back-to-back is a massive boost to our confidence.
“The gap between 11th and third in the league is less than two wins, so we know it’s still all to play for.
“We just have to keep going and stay positive.”