Elmstead (160-4) beat Haverhill (157) by six wickets
A struggling Haverhill team down on their luck bravely travelled to an Elmstead side brimming with confidence, falling short by six wickets.
The Suffolk visitors have found life in Division One tough so far this season, winning just one of their six encounters — although the team were left ‘extremely frustrated’ by last week’s abandoned match against Mistley.
The wet weather did not help either side, with heavy mid-morning showers causing concern for the pitch quality.
But the Vicarage Meadow side did a good job of protecting the pitch, allowing play to begin as scheduled.
Haverhill won the toss and chose to bat first, starting their innings slowly as they found it hard dealing with the pace and spin of Elmstead’s bowlers.
The first wicket fell with only seven on the board as Michael Burle dismissed Anthony Phillips (5).
David Humphrey’s dismissal for 24 left the side at a relatively healthy 71-2, but the steady fall of wickets afterwards prevented Haverhill from ever developing a rhythm.
Chris Palmer escaped a sure catch and went on to score the away side’s best total, but he eventually went for 40 runs.
Alex Archer (36) was Haverhill’s only other batsmen who seemed to get to grips with the Elmstead bowlers, as they were eventually all out for a total of 157 in the 48th over.
Elmstead came to the crease and started their reply at a rapid rate.
They raced to 33 in just four overs, as the home side found the boundary, before Harry Harding trapped Jordan Elliot lbw.
Peter Webster came in to steady the Elmstead ship, with the batsman playing with determination and flare against a spirited Haverhill bowling attack.
The young batsman rose to the occasion well, following his recent promotion from the IIs, hitting seven fours and remaining at the crease all day.
Without too much fuss, he helped the home side reachethe target in the 32nd over, for the loss of just four wickets.
Haverhill youngster Harding emerged with some strong bowling figures of 10-3-22-2.
Captain Adam Dellar said: “I expected a difficult match but felt we needed to score at least 200 to give ourselves a chance.
“We have an interesting run of fixtures coming up and hopefully we can bounce back in a positive fashion.”
The win saw Elmstead move 16 points clear at the top.
Haverhill, meanwhile, are still second from the bottom and host third place side Wivenhoe on Saturday (1pm), who have won four of their six matches so far.