Heartbreak for Haverhill cricket's third team as promotion chances slip away
Haverhill Cricket Club are heartbroken to have missed out on promotion from Division Nine West of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.
The third team’s five wicket defeat to Lakenheath II on Saturday also saw their hosts crowned champions and pipping them to the only promotion place, to rub salt in the wound.
Put in to bat first, Tom Baker top scored with 73 runs as Haverhill amassed a strong target of 206-9 in their 40 allotted overs.
There were also strong knocks for club chairman Rob Dovaston (29), James Eshelby (27), Paddy Meadows (25) and Max Meadows (21).
In reply, Haverhill’s bowlers struggled to find a rhythm as wickets proved hard to come by, but it was a team effort with each bowler taking a wicket.
Captain Kevin Austin had the best figures with 1-17 but they could not stop Lakenheath reaching 208-5 in 35 overs.
The match was Lakenheath’s final fixture of the season, while Haverhill III still have one more remaining, an away trip to Woolpit IV on Saturday (12.30pm).
But with the championship already decided with Lakenheath firmly in first place and Haverhill uncatchable in second, it is a dead rubber match.
l Meanwhile in Division Three, Long Melford (301-5) beat Haverhill II (180) by 121 runs.
Joshua Burgess (131 not out) caused the damage as Long Melford were put in to bat, with Sarmad Murtaza (62), Jason Wade (44) and captain James French (32) providing steady partnerships as the visitors put together a hefty target of 301.
Matt Collier (3-55) kept the runs down, with a wicket each for Josh Brailey and Joey Kettle.
In reply, Carl Bradford was unable to hold off the nervous nineties from the front as he fell at 98, his score more than six times better than captain Joey Kettle’s next best score of 16, as Haverhill suffered a batting collapse.
The Extras column read at 31, with only two other batsmen reaching double figures on the day as the visitors fell well short of the target.
The second team have maintained a steady mid-table seventh in the standings for the majority of the season and, with three weekends remaining. They are next due to host Brockley on Saturday (12.30pm).