Haverhill Cricket Club crowned Suffolk Plate champions in first ever version of new second tier county-wide tournament
Haverhill Cricket Club have won the inaugural Suffolk Plate competition, beating Hadleigh by eight wickets on Finals Day, hosted by Woolpit, on Sunday.
The Twenty20 county competition is in its first year and was brought about as a contest for teams in Division Four and below of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.
It ran alongside the Suffolk Cup – for teams in the EAPL to Division Three – which also saw the winner, Sudbury, crowned at Woolpit. Haverhill were reigning champions but narrowly missed out on progression from the group stages by defeated finalist Bury St Edmunds.
But, despite the club’s disappointment at missing out on retaining their Cup crown, they marched all the way in the Plate, to be the first ever Suffolk Plate champions.
Haverhill T20 (115-1) beat Battisford & District T20 (114-6) by nine wickets in their semi-final, while Hadleigh T20 (162) beat Woodbridge T20 (142-6) by 20 runs in the other semi-final.
Haverhill (137-2) then beat Hadleigh (136) by eight wickets in just 16 overs to claim the title.
Captain Ben Wilkins said: “It’s brilliant, we weren’t really expecting to get to Finals Day, let alone win.
“I guess it helps that most of us play in the Haverhill Midweek T20 Cricket League, we’re good at T20 cricket.
“We’ve used 22 players throughout the competition and it’s been great to give players a shot who wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to play in a county-wide competition.
“It’s been a really enjoyable competition and winning it is the icing on the top.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to win the first ever as well – we go into the history books.”
He picked out Sam Hartshorn, Liam Botten and 17-year-old Jack Simmonds as key to the victory.