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Five wins in a row as Division Two leaders start to pull away

Haverhill’s 80-run win over Clacton-on-Sea was their fifth consecutive league victory, and it saw them open up a 16-point lead at the top of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two.

Club captain Adam Dellar conceded there was a ‘big gap’ between the divisions, as he felt his side were demonstrating their quality as a ‘Division One team’.

He said: “There’s a gap, there’s definitely a gap, and it’s particularly in the strength in depth.

“We have more than just 11 players of Division One standard, and we even have some who have played higher than that.

“But what this season is doing for us so far is embedding that winning mentality.

“Despite us being at a standard above where we are maybe playing right now, we failed to stay at that level.

“Last year we were in a bad place and we deserved to go down – our results didn’t match what we knew we were capable of.

“We were better than our league position but we threw away too many games.

“And we’re learning not to do that now, we’re getting used to winning.”

The Manor Road side lost the toss and were put in to bat first, clocking up a 218-7 total in their 45 allocated overs.

Anthony Phillips again struck the side’s highest total from the front as he amassed a 67-run total.

He was helped by Luke Youngs (55) and Adam Dellar (52), the skipper pleased to record a good performance with the bat.

But Dellar went on to also take an impressive three wickets in his three overs, for only nine runs, as Clacton chased Haverhill’s total.

Tom Baker also took his first wicket for the first team, before then taking two more. Dan Pass took two wickets while Will Bailey and Liam Botten took one apiece as they bowled Clacton all out for 138.

Dellar said: “I had forgotten how much I enjoy bowling, I was really happy with how I played.

“And the whole side, it was a good performance, we’re going from strength to strength at the moment.”

On Saturday they face fellow Division One dropout Braintree at home, a match Dellar predicts will be among the toughest challenges the side face this year.

“We’ve lost to them more than we’ve beaten them in recent years,” he said.

“It will be a big test for us, but we are playing much better now and are in a good place.

“And after this we will be about a third of the way through the season, if we can do that with only one loss behind us (after losing the opening game of the season), then that would be brilliant.”

He said the squad will be boosted by the return of Harry Harding and Mark Barrell, with Dan Pass (unavailable) and Sam Street making way.

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