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Haverhill cricket captain Anthony Phillips said club are looking up not down league table as winning feeling continues

Haverhill cricket captain Anthony Phillips has said it is hard to believe how much attitudes had changed since their last stint in Division One, with an optimism borne out of a season of ‘learning how to win a league’.

Mistley (184-8) may have narrowly defeated Haverhill (172-9) by 12 runs on Saturday, but Haverhill remain above them in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship top flight in seventh place.

They have now won seven and lost six of their 14 outings, with one weather cancellation, and will next host sixth-placed Maldon on Saturday (1pm).

CRICKET - Haverhill (Bowling/Fielding) v Lakenheath (Batting) ..Pictured: Anthony Phillips for Haverhill ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (14190596)
CRICKET - Haverhill (Bowling/Fielding) v Lakenheath (Batting) ..Pictured: Anthony Phillips for Haverhill ...PICTURE: Mecha Morton. (14190596)

Phillips said: “We’re in a great place at this stage of the season – we’re not even looking down the table, the focus is all up at the teams above us.

“I think that really shows how attitudes have changed from two seasons ago, when it was all about how far we were from the bottom. Now it’s all about how far we are from the top.

“There’s a lot of confidence and, it seems silly to say, but just knowing how to grind out that win has been so important to us. We worked out a lot last season in Division Two, including learning how to win a league,” Phillips added.

“Maldon are just above us and we know we can beat them, we did it at their place early in the season. But they lost the game more than we won it in a lot of ways.

“That’s not taking away from how we played, just that we know they are a threat. It should be a good encounter.”

He said that Adam Dellar would once more be unavailable, having been a late drop out against Mistley due to travel issues, and Mark Barrell, who made a ‘painful’ return on Saturday to help out, would continue to recuperate from a long-standing back complaint.

“It was a tough game against Mistley,” Phillips said. “The players that stepped up did very well and really showed our strength in depth at the club, but Mistley fielded and bowled very well.

“I feel like we did well, but at 80-0 we should have gone on to win the game.”

Rajan Singh (3-36), Harry Harding (2-26), Anthony Phillips (2-51) and Ollie North (1-17) limited Mistley to 184-8 in a reduced-45 over-a-side game.

In reply, Sam Hartshorn (43) made the most of his step up from the seconds as he top-scored, ably partnered by Singh (40) as they built a first-wicket partnership of 86 runs.

But, with both falling with the score on 86, Haverhill struggled to resettle as they fell narrowly short of the run total with 172-9 just 12 runs short of victory.

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