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Haverhill’s title credentials to be tested with Ipswich visit

FINE FORM: Haverhill's Dan Poole now sits second in the club's leading run-scorers with 5,064 runs to his name
FINE FORM: Haverhill's Dan Poole now sits second in the club's leading run-scorers with 5,064 runs to his name

In-form all-rounder Dan Poole is confident Haverhill can beat any team put in front of them ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Ipswich (1pm).

Having recently moved up to second in the club’s leading run-scorers list, Poole believes Haverhill can continue their fine start to the season with a third consecutive win, against title rivals Ipswich this weekend.

“We’re enjoying our cricket and I’m confident we can beat any team in this league,” he said. “We’ve been playing together for four or five years now and we know each other’s games inside out.”

Haverhill sit in fourth place in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two table, after winning four of their opening five matches of the 2015 season.

The Manor Road-based outfit host third-placed Ipswich on Saturday, before visiting second-placed Braintree the following week, with Poole citing the next two weeks as a crucial period in Haverhill’s season.

“If we could knock one, or even both of them over then we know we can handle it with the teams that have made a slightly better start than us,” he said.

“We’ve been grinding out results and have really dug in.

“Most of our wins have been within 20 runs. They’ve been tight towards the end of the games, but when you are able to win from improbable positions it’s a sign of a good team.”

After being restricted to only playing cricket on Saturdays, following a diagnosis of shin splints two years ago, Poole became only the second Haverhill player to pass the 5,000 runs mark earlier this season.

A knock of 48 runs during Saturday’s win over Long Melford sees the all-rounder currently stand on 5,064 runs, with team-mate Adam Dellar (5,845) the only player to have scored more.

“I’m pleased with my batting form,” he said. “I’m batting at five now.

“I’ve been at seven for the last few years, and as one of the older heads the onus is on me to contribute every week.

“I’m only 25 but I’m now a senior player, and I like the responsibility.”

Haverhill ‘snatched a victory from ‘the jaws of defeat’ against Melford, in Poole’s words, with vital contributions from Anthony Phillips (48) and Dan Pass (35) helping to reach a score of 191-9.

Melford looked set for victory needing only 40 runs from the last 11 overs of their innings, but inspired bowling from Pass (2-19) and captain Joe Woodley (1-31) restricted their opponents to 175-8.

“The last couple of weeks our top order has got out for low scores, but they’re going to click sooner or later,” Poole said.

“They’ll get to 200-1 after 25 overs and we’ll win by 150 runs or by 10 wickets, and hopefully it will be this week against Ipswich!”

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