Cricket side take further step towards title with victories
Haverhill Cricket Club took another step towards achieving their goal of winning Division Two, with Saturday’s 39-run home victory.
Haverhill (221-9) beat Mildenhall II (189-9) to maintain a small five point gap over second-placed Lakenheath in the second tier of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship, with six fixtures remaining in the 2018 season.
The Manor Road side go into this Saturday’s away trip to mid-table Clacton (1pm) in winning form, having recorded back-to-back wins for the first time since June.
Clacton, meanwhile, go into the fixture on a loss.
Mildenhall II’s defeat also sees them drop off in the title race, with 46 points now separating their fourth place from the Haverhill’s top spot.
And with Lakenheath due to face third-placed Braintree this Saturday, it could end up a two-horse race to the crown and guaranteed promotion to Division One.
Haverhill will need Mark Barrell to continue in his rich vein of form, with the number five batsman unbeaten in his last three outings in the league. Luke Youngs (11), meanwhile, who proved so crucial in the first half of the season has struggled to reproduce this form in recent matches.
And it is also hoped that Adam Dellar (5), who has relinquished his captaincy to opener Anthony Phillips for the remainder of the season, will be able to focus on his performances without the stress of the administrative side of cricket.
Winning the toss, Haverhill chose to bat first – with new captain Phillips (11) and Dan Pass (19) opening the score.
A mid-table collapse saw Haverhill crumble from 49-2 to 70-5 as they suddenly found themselves at risk of being skittled.
But Barrell’s undefeated 51, alongside the key contribution of James Boulton with the highest score of the game of 73, rescued the home team with their impressive 117-run partnership, before the latter was clean bowled by Tom Heywood.
A further 16 from Will Bailey and other contributions saw Haverhill to a good target of 221-9.
In reply, Mildenhall had a steady innings, losing wickets at regular intervals but doing enough to clock the score up and pose a threat to Haverhill’s total.
Mildenhall skipper Steve Graham (68) put together his side’s best score, off 62 balls, helped by Kieren Davis (24) and Ryan Clark (23).
But spinner Harry Harding wreaked havoc on the middle order as he collected five wickets for 37 runs in his 13 over stint, including three maidens, to prevent Mildenhall ever getting on a roll or building a solid batting partnership.
Bailey also took a good wicket haul with his figures of 3-34 from eight overs, with Ben Wilkins taking Mildenhall’s other.
l Meanwhile, the T20 squad have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Suffolk T20 Cup after claiming top spot in Pool A.
They have been handed a ‘very tough draw’ against Woolpit on Bank Holiday Monday, August 27 (12noon).