Appetite for revenge at Haverhill Cricket Club with side away to last season's rivals Lakenheath
A ‘comfortable’ victory for Haverhill in their first outing back in Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship has whet the team’s appetites for their next game, according to vice captain Mark Barrell.
The team are back in the league’s top flight after a season in Division Two, and they got their 2019 campaign off to a flying start as Haverhill (243-5) beat Ipswich (132 all out) by 111-runs at their Manor Road ground.
It set-up an exciting-looking fixture this weekend, with the side due to travel to old rival Lakenheath on Saturday (12.30pm).
It is an encounter the team have been looking forward to, as they hope to exact revenge on the team that twice beat them in the league last season to claim the Division Two title – Haverhill came second to secure the only other promotion place.
Barrell said: “We are really looking forward to playing Lakenheath, we have a bit of a point to prove against them.
“But we are much stronger this year than last, and the win in the first game sets us up well.
“We are stronger, I think, because we will have more availability in our players. Consistency is a big thing and we didn’t have Raj Singh last season either. He will have a big impact – overall, we just have the quality to beat them this year, I think.
“We’re the new club in the division having just been promoted and so there is no expectation from anyone but ourselves.
“But there’s a feeling among the squad that we can certainly compete at this level, better than we have been able for years, a sort of quiet optimism.
“I know Raj has very high hopes of a top three spot and that’s not out of our grasp as I don’t think we have any obvious weak spots in our squad – but it’s not going to be easy.
“It’s a long season, there’s lots of games to go yet, but we’ve definitely started how we wanted. It was fairly comfortable and we probably didn’t get out of third gear.”
The result leaves them in a four-way tie at the top of the division with a maximum of 20 league points – 15 points for a win and five for bowling Ipswich all out.
Last season’s top scoring batsman Luke Youngs, who hit more than 1,000 runs last term, suggested he has carried that form into this year with an unbeaten 66 runs off 87 balls.
Barrell’s 59 run tally at fifth bat was the second best knock of the day, with a half century for captain Anthony Phillips – three of the seven batsman hit the 50-run mark. Simon Nicholson, meanwhile, collected five wickets.