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Rejuvenated Haverhill side aim to maintain their winning start

Off spinner Calum Brunning celebrates trapping Exning's Daniel Baigent lbw for 60 during Haverhill's six wicket win. Picture: Megan Woodley. ANL-150427-101251002
Off spinner Calum Brunning celebrates trapping Exning's Daniel Baigent lbw for 60 during Haverhill's six wicket win. Picture: Megan Woodley. ANL-150427-101251002

A rejuvenation of spirit among Haverhill’s players is now starting to manifest itself in performances after two wins out of two in the league.

Haverhill take on Copford at Manor Road on Saturday (1pm) knowing victory could take them to the summit of Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two.

Third placed Copford and fourth placed Haverhill, along with Braintree and Ipswich, are the only teams now left with a 100 per cent record so far in the division after two matches.

Copford will offer probably the stiffest test so far in the division, a fact Haverhill skipper Joe Woodley is well aware of.

He said: “They have recruited Tom Sinclair from Frinton IIs, who is a good player. He’s a keeper/batsman who can smash it well.

“They look to have a good side and by all accounts they want to go up this year.

“They are ambitious and the signing of an overseas player denotes that as well, so it’s going to be a tough game, but we will go into it with confidence.”

The top six in the batting order, which has so far remained unchanged, have all made solid contributions with nobody failing to at least get into the teens.

The bowlers have been utilised according to the pitch conditions in each match, with telling results to date.

Despite some batsmen not yet having had any time at the crease and some bowlers being unable to turn their arm over, Woodley has no doubts that when called upon, everyone is capable of coming up with the goods.

“Everyone seems to be ready to go when called upon,” said Woodley.

“In some ways it’s been more difficult than last year because we’ve had people like Rob (Dovaston) and Ben (Wilkins) who haven’t had a bat and Josh (Ruthven) has not had a bowl.

“It’s almost more difficult because you want to keep people happy, but people are happy when you are winning.”

The way the XI has been used in the two matches to date is, added Woodley, indicative of the fact that Haverhill has so many good all rounders in the side.

A strong team morale has also played a huge part in the good start to the campaign, as Woodley explained.

“I think we have put it down to team morale. The guys are fantastic and they are really enjoying playing cricket.

“I think the main issue is that most of the batsmen think they’ve got a fair game. There’s no pros who are going to blast them out because they are too good.

“This year I think everyone feels that if they bowl and bat well they will get rewarded and their score will be based on merit.

“It’s just like a rebirth and rejuvenation of spirit and enjoyment of the game.”

Haverhill may have had a positive opening two weeks of the season, but feet are remaining firmly grounded.

Woodley said: “It’s one game at a time. Nobody is thinking about promotion just at the moment.

“We are not even going to be looking at the league table until we’ve played half a season, then we can judge what we are like.

“If we perform like we did at Exning and we hold our catches like we did there’s no reason why we can’t win every game this season, but it’s up to me to make sure complacency doesn’t creep in.”

Haverhill XI: Hartshorn, Powell, Ruthven, Dellar, Poole, Phillips, Pass, Dovaston, B Wilkins, Woodley (c), C Brunning.

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