MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP
Haverhill 176-7 lost to Braintree 246 by 70 runs
A hat-trick for stand-in skipper Anthony Phillips proved a mere consolation in yet another loss for Haverhill, writes Callum Brunning.
With only one loss in the last four games for Haverhill, Phillips’ team were confident going into Saturday’s game, despite a number of absences in the team.
With captain Adam Dellar, Will Bailey and Jamie Boulton all on holiday, Haverhill were forced to name a weakened team for Saturday’s clash which saw Anthony Phillips stand in as skipper.
Having lost the toss, Haverhill fielded first and instantly put Braintree’s opening batsmen on the back foot.
In-form Andy Argent (6-2-23-1) found the breakthrough in the third over when Dean Bass (1) snicked off to Phillips at slip. Haverhill’s opening pair of Argent and veteran Joe Woodley (9-2-52-2) continued to apply the pressure bowling on the Braintree batsmen, who with the aid of Haverhill’s energy in the field, restricted the visitors to 24 runs off the first ten overs.
Josh Ruthven continued Haverhill’s pressure going for just 11 runs in his seven overs.
Braintree opener Chris Leech remained resilient against Haverhill’s attack and crafted his way to 58 before Callum Brunning (9-0-42-1) had him stumped.
After a drought of wickets in the middle overs, Braintree’s Gareth Fisher (53) and Dean Chalk (45) punished the bad balls, and moved the visitors into a good position.
However, after an attempt at a risky single, Fisher fell victim to some sharp work by Ruthven who ran him out with a direct hit.
In the climax to Braintree’s innings, Phillips (3-0-20-3) provided a moment of magic, taking the wickets of Dean Garner (8), Quincy Titterton (3) and Ben Golds (0) in consecutive deliveries.
This was key to restricting Braintree to no more than 246.
Haverhill began their chase in horrendous fashion when Sam Hartshorn chipped the first ball of the innings to mid-on off the bowling of Quincy Titterton (10-2-35-2).
Luck was in the favour of the visitors after Phillips (29) was controversially run out in the 13th over from which the home side failed to recover.
Apart from Dan Pass’ entertaining innings of 31, Haverhill never showed any signs of chasing down Braintree’s score.
Haverhill slumped to 176-7 in their 50 overs. Although Haverhill lost the game, they managed to pick up nine valuable bonus points which could be vital at the end of the season in their fight for survival.
On Saturday Haverhill travel to Coggeshall (1pm), which could be their best chance of victory in their remaining four fixtures.
Haverhill: Powell, Phillips, Palmer, Dellar(c), Ruthven, Humphrey(wk), Boulton, Pass, Bailey, Woodley, Brunning.
In Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Three, Haverhill II won by five wickets at second-from-bottom Coggeshall II to all but mathematically guarantee they won’t finish in the bottom two this season, their first at that level.
Veteran seamer Martyn Wilkins produced a season’s best of 10-0-38-5 and 15-year-old spinner Harry Harding 15-1-62-3 to bowl out the hosts for 189.
Openers Steve Fox (56) and Dan Poole (72) then laid the foundations for a five wicket victory.
The victory leaves Haverhill needing just four points from their final four games to ensure they don’t end up in the bottom two.
On Saturday, Haverhill are at home to promotion-chasing Kelvedon & Feering (1pm).