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Haverhill confident ahead of Suffolk Shield final

Haverhill will be hoping to see off Brightlingsea in the final of the Suffolk Shield as they did Mistley, as pictured,  in the semi-final

Haverhill will be hoping to see off Brightlingsea in the final of the Suffolk Shield as they did Mistley, as pictured, in the semi-final

Complacency will not be an issue for Haverhill when they face Brightlingsea in the final of the Suffolk Shield on Saturday (2pm).

Complacency will not be an issue for Haverhill when they face Brightlingsea in the final of the Suffolk Shield on Saturday (December 1, 2pm start).

Haverhill may ply their trade two divisions higher than their opponents, who are in the lower half of the Essex League Division Two, but a cup final can be a very levelling occasion.

Dave Halsey, chairman of Haverhill’s playing side, said: “Brightlingsea have lost three and won three this season, and our current rate is seven wins and three losses.

“It is a higher standard that we play at, on paper the win is ours and we are confident.

“It does look like it’s ours, but what actually happens on the day is a totally different thing.

“We are going to dig out our best team ever, but Brightlingsea are going to do the same because they want to win the final the same as we do.

“It’s quite an important thing for us to get through (and win) because if we do you get through to the first round of the Suffolk Plate.”

Haverhill will of course be looking to repeat last season’s feat of winning the Suffolk Shield — a first for the club — and have the added advantage of playing the final on their home ground.

They will also be favourites against a team who only squeaked into the final with a 27-24 win at Felixstowe, a side currently struggling in Haverhill’s division (Eastern Counties League Division Two) with just one win in six league matches.

Haverhill is optimistic of fielding a strong side on Saturday, when in all probability it will have the same starting XV that defeated Mistley 39-3 in the last four.

Seasoned performers such as Paul Bergin, Simon Potter, Michael Lansdowne and the very influential Jake Jeffs are all expected to player their part, while promising younger players, such as teenage prop George Foley, will be in the fray.

The team was aided by a Saturday off last week, enabling some to recover from injury, while a few got some match time playing for the second team.

The club is, added Halsey, keen to see as many people as possible to come and watch, and enjoy the remainder of England international against the All Blacks on the big screen after the match.

Halsey was also keen to mention that Haverhill is looking for new players young or old, experienced or inexperienced to join, and that everyone is welcome to visit Castle Playing Fields to enjoy the match day atmosphere and see what it has to offer.

He said: “Success brings people out of the woodwork and we want to emphasise this point; that we are defending the trophy and are in the final for the second year running.

“It’s things like that which do bring people out of the woodwork, and there are a lot of people sitting at home that do want to play rugby that can’t be bothered, and this can bring them out.

“It may also bring a few people out that have not played for a long time, or those who are travelling to play for other clubs further afield.”

For all the latest sport see todays’ (Thursday, December 6) Echo.

 

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