Final day showdown for Haverhill cricket team
Division One of the Two Counties Championship will see a thrilling final match between Haverhill and Worlington this weekend, with the loser almost certainly facing relegation.
Two teams are guaranteed demotion from the division, with Haverhill currently sitting in the relegation places.
But Worly are within touching distance above, with just eight points separating the two teams.
A win for either team would be enough to take them out of the danger zone and secure them another season in the top division of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.
It has been confirmed that no teams will be relegated from the East Anglian Premier League this season, due to no teams from the feeder leagues wishing to seek promotion, and so it will be just two teams going down from Division One.
There are a number of permutations of what could happen on the final day of the cricket season but Haverhill club captain Adam Dellar believes the only thing his side must do is win their last game.
Dellar said: “The scenario is quite simple — if we win, we stay in Division One.”
The side gave themselves a fighting chance last Saturday, by winning their penultimate game at home to Maldon, to set up the final day showdown away to Worlington this Saturday (12pm).
Haverhill (222-4) beat Maldon (221-7) by six wickets, with Anthony Phillips scoring almost a-run-a-ball as he hit 128 not out off just 129 balls.
Dellar added: “This was a great batting performance from the boys and Ant Phillips produced a stunning knock to get us over the line.
“We bowled OK and kept ourselves in the game.
“It was an important win and one that gives us a lot of confidence going into next week’s must win game.”
Maldon won the toss and elected to bat with both teams agreeing to reduce the over-count to 40 a side as the forecast did not look great.
The Haverhill bowlers found it hard work against a strong Maldon batting line up.
At 170-2, Maldon were well placed for a final onslaught but the Haverhill bowlers had other ideas. Some good spells from Ben Wilkins (8-3-20-2) and Harry Harding (7-0-46-2) prevented Maldon posting a huge score as they stuttered to a close of 221-7.
The Haverhill batsmen produced a fantastic display in reply to catch a challenging run total.
Opener Phillips was the main aggressor and a decent 88-run partnership with Chris Palmer (26) helped turn the tables.
He steered the Haverhill side to victory with an unbeaten 128, made up of 13 fours and three sixes.
Haverhill reached the required total with two overs remaining and ran out comfortable winners by six wickets.