Haverhill intent on avoiding slip-up against basement side

Haverhill batsman Rob Dovaston is fit again having missed their last home match, a five wicket victory over Sudbury II.
Haverhill batsman Rob Dovaston is fit again having missed their last home match, a five wicket victory over Sudbury II.

Haverhill will be looking to avoid becoming the first team all season to slip up against the division’s basement club when they meet on Saturday.

The visitors to Manor Road (1pm start), Kelvedon and Feering, are currently cut adrift by 36 points at the foot of Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two after nine defeats in nine matches and are the only side in the top five divisions without a win.

In contrast, Haverhill are in third, just eight points behind second-placed Braintree, having won six and lost two of their nine matches so far.

After the frustration of last Saturday’s cancelled match at Mildenhall II, in which both teams got onto the pitch for a delayed 2pm start, only for the rain to set in and bring matters to a close, Haverhill will be keen to get 20 points on the board.

Haverhill skipper Joe Woodley says the troubles of the opposition will not affect the mindset of the team, who will all set out to do their jobs and secure victory.

He said: “I think Kelvedon may have a few university players back; that’s not great, but hopefully we will not slip up.

“If we play to our best and everyone does the job I’ve asked them to do and we perform to our best we will beat anyone in this league.

“We’ve got the ability, it’s just a case of honing it and getting out there and performing.”

The Kelvedon match will take Haverhill to within one game of the halfway point in the season, and Woodley said the team knows its promotion prospects remain firmly within their own hands.

He added: “We know we’ve got to play every other team again and we know on our day we can produce a 20 points to zero victory in any match.

“You’ve got to accept if we lose to Kelvedon perhaps we are best suited to playing in Division Two.

“At the moment I’m happy with where we are. If we are top of the league complacency can creep in.

“The best thing that’s happened to this team was losing a couple of games because people have realised some of the opposition are not as weak as they thought they would 

Having been unavailable due to family commitments, all-rounder Russell Davis has returned to the starting XI for Saturday in place of George Biggs, who had been drafted in from the second team.

With middle-order batsman Rob Dovaston fit again after missing the five wicket victory over Sudbury II on June 6, Haverhill have no injury issues.

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