Haverhill’s cricket captain has said his team showed a ‘killer instinct’ for the first time when taking on Maldon, and hopes they have now got the ‘taste for victory’.
Adam Dellar was reflecting on the weekend’s match away to the Essex side in the Two Counties Division One Championship, which the visitors won by four wickets.
It was the team’s second win after 10 attempts this season — and their first win in seven games — to a side placed well above them in the league.
Anthony Phillips’ maiden century for Haverhill helped steer the team to victory.
Dellar said the result was a ‘massive boost’ to their hopes of avoiding relegation as the crucial points brought them back on terms with the lower placed teams.
He said: “It’s been a long time since we got a win and it’s wonderful to get off the bottom of the table, even if it’s only just.
“We batted and bowled really well and it was great for Ant to get his first hundred, it made a big difference.
“It was such an important win for us as it’s taken us from a long way at the bottom to back in the fight.
“It will keep teams thinking and worrying about us, rather than just dismissing us.”
He said it was easy for a team that was down on their luck to get used to losing.
“We’ve played some really good cricket but we’ve struggled with that killer instinct, losing five games because we’ve failed to finish a team off,” he said.
“The boys are a little used to being at the bottom of the league but I hope that things can now change.
“Against Maldon we showed that killer edge, and hopefully they now know what that feels like.
“Winning is a good feeling and I think the boys have got a taste for it now. I want them to remember the feeling and push for more of the same.”
He expects to field the same XI against Worlington on Saturday, after those 11 players found their groove.
“We used a different plan with the opening bowlers and it worked well,” Dellar said.
“That team have just been given a massive confidence boost and I want them to bring that same positivity this week too.
“And there’s still work to be done on our game.
“We dropped three catches last week, so that’s clearly something we need to work on. It’s disappointing to miss those opportunities to take wickets.
“And everyone, except me, batted well so, that needs to continue; we’ve been poor in that area this season.
“The main issue is that 20-minute or so spell where we play poorly, every game, and in that time we are bowled all out or lose too many runs.
“Against Maldon there was a hint of that happening, when James Boulton, Chris Palmer and I were out within 11 runs of each other, but Will Bailey stepped in and, alongside Anthony, steadied the ship and helped get us over the line.
“We have to make sure we play like this against Worlington. Even if we do, it’s going to be a tough game.
“But another win, back-to-back, could be the difference in our season.”
He added: “It’s getting pretty close at the bottom of the league, with quite a few teams within catching distance.
“We’re probably playing the best we ever have as well, with such narrow losses, so we just need the results to match our quality now.”
Haverhill host Worlington at home on Saturday (1pm).