Haverhill ‘cannot afford to lose’ their next match

Anthony Phillips batting for Haverhill. He should return for the match with Exning
Anthony Phillips batting for Haverhill. He should return for the match with Exning

After their resounding defeat to promotion rivals Easton, skipper Joe Woodley believes Haverhill cannot afford defeat to Exning on Saturday.

Haverhill produced their worst batting display on a turning wicket at Easton to be bowled out for just 109 and lost the match by seven wickets, in the process dropping down the table from second to fourth in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two.

With Copford, whom Haverhill must travel to on July 18, remaining top, Braintree have moved into second and Easton third after their victories on Saturday.

The top four have opened up a gap on the rest of the division, placing a greater onus on Haverhill to ensure they do not slip up at home to fourth-bottom Exning at Manor Road on Saturday (1pm).

Woodley said: “We are good enough to beat anyone and we are also bad enough to sometimes produce a shocker like that and at the end of the day if we are losing games like that too often we are better off where we are.

“Exning is a tough game but it’s a game we should win. It’s not the worst game to have to play next.

“I still think we are a very good side.

“We will have these blips but I’m very confident we will bounce back.

“It’s almost D-Day, these next three games. If we lose to Exning we will probably have to resign ourselves to the fact that we will be a Division Two side next year.

“I don’t want to be going into the Copford match having lost two games in a row.”

At Easton, Haverhill were without first team regulars, all-rounder Russ Davis, in-form wicketkeeper/batsman Anthony Phillips and middle order batsman, Liam Savage, Woodley is looking forward to Savage and Phillips returning on Saturday - although Davis’s participation is ruled out.

In fact, were Haverhill to be able to field their first choice XI every week, Woodley knows they have what it takes to earn promotion.

“I am confident of that, if we can get our full strength team out each week, and that’s not being detrimental to anyone in the second team.”

Haverhill XI: Powell, Pass, Phillips, Dellar, Poole, Dovaston, Savage, W Bailey, Wilkins, Woodley (c), C Brunning.

n Two weeks ago, Haverhill took delivery of their brand new set of covers, paid for thanks to sponsorship from M Shinn Flooring, Rinaldi Financial Services Ltd and Dellar Sports Coaching.

The club has also launched an appeal to raise £4,000 to buy an electronic scoreboard and has set up a Twitter account specifically for it; @FundraisingHCC.

A bucket collection held at Manor Road last weekend has got the ball rolling, raising £128, a band night is taking place at the club on August 1 and a sponsored walk is also planned.