HUNTS COUNTY BATS SUFFOLK LEAGUE
Long Melford 247 lost to Haverhill II 256-9 by 9 runs
Young guns Josh Ruthven and Jamie Boulton scored 176 runs between them to help Haverhill II squeeze home past Long Melford.
Upon arrival the clouds lifted as if a sign from the cricketing spirits telling everyone to get on with it, which they were only too happy to do.
Long Melford won the toss and elected to bowl which looked like a great decision with a few balls not quite coming on and Haverhill finding themselves with a wicket down early.
Boulton (68) and Aaron Forshaw (24) then went about rebuilding the innings with Boulton getting to his 50 in pretty rapid order and hitting two balls out of the ground before holing out to the trap set for him.
Just when Long Melford thought things would ease Ruthven (108no) came to the wicket and set about accumulating runs in a business like fashion.
When Forshaw fell Craig Williams (24) joined Ruthven and they both continued accumulate runs with some good running between the wickets to boot.
Ruthven was lucky not to be out in the 80s when he was dropped in the deep.
Kieron Ewens was unfortunate to hit a fielder on the head at silly mid-off, with the ball then going for four, but it was called dead which was very sporting and he lost concentration and was out shortly after.
Haverhill ended their inning on 256-9 which looked like a good total.
Long Melford started their innings and quickly lost a wicket when Cameron Stace (0) for a run which was never on, Forshaw swooped in and got the ball to the keeper who took the bails off with the batsman still a metre outside his ground.
Skipper Charles Shannon (10-30-1) then added to their woes by getting the other opening batsman Dale Brett caught behind for just three.
This bought Bill Byford (64) and Adam Matthews (102) to the crease who went about rebuilding their innings and by the 20th over the home team on track to chase down the total.
An inspired change in the bowling by the skipper saw Scott Bishop (4-35-2) come onto bowl and he picked up two wickets in succession putting himself on the first hat-trick for the day, which unfortunately he could quite convert.
M Hoadley (37) batted well and with Haverhill unable to take their chances in the field it looked like Long Melford were on their way to a victory.
That was until Harry Harding (9-50-4) decided to get in on the act and Hoadley drove a screamer at the skipper who had no option but to hold onto it otherwise he may have been visiting the dentist the next day.
Another run out saw Ruthven throw one in from the boundary hitting the stumps directly and sending the batsman on his way.
From then on in the wickets fell constantly although the home team never gave up and were all out when Ewens (6-39-1) got the last wicket with Long Melford seven runs short.
Both sides were very happy with such a fantastic game of cricket.
Haverhill II captain Shannon, said: “Although we were under pressure the side really pulled together and held their nerve and showed a great temperament.”