Mixed day for Haverhill Cricket Club’s promotion ambitions
The likelihood of both Haverhill teams being promoted from their divisions in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship looks slim after Saturday’s results.
In division two, the first team suffered a surprise 85 run defeat at bottom side Kelvedon & Feering.
Victory for the hosts lifted them off the bottom for the first time this season only for other results to go against them and leave them unable to get out of the bottom two with just one match to go.
A weakened Haverhill side, with no Dan Poole, Will Bailey, Liam Savage, Russ Davis or Sam Powell (whose one season spell has now ended) bowled out Kelvedon for 206.
While Ben Wilkins (10-2-33-3) was the pick of the Haverhill bowlers, such was their issues with bowler availability wicket keeper Anthony Phillips was called into action with the ball for the first time this season, taking 2-62 in 14 overs.
The writing was on the wall for Haverhill when their leading run scorer Adam Dellar was bowled for a duck by Alex Holder (7-3-14-2) and they soon found themselves 13-4.
Despite middle order contributions from Dan Pass (19), Jamie Boulton (14) and Ben Wilkins (19) it was left to skipper Joe Woodley, batting at number nine, to make sure the score passed 100.
His knock of 34 took Haverhill to 111 all as they suffered a defeat that leaves them 13 points behind third-placed Easton with just this Saturday’s match at home to Dunmow to come.
Haverhill’s II’s impressive promotion charge in division four continued with an exciting two wicket victory over visitors Needham Market, their seventh straight win and one that keeps them in second place with just one game to go.
Needham got off to a strong start in their innings, but once openers Andy Hill (42) and Stuart Ward (44) had been dismissed they collapsed from 119-2 to 152 all out, with only Henry Cutting (38no) up to the task.
The evergreen Martyn Wilkins produced a season’s best -6-26 from 12.3 overs for Haverhill.
In reply veteran openers Arvid Gundersen (26) and Micky Rinaldi ~(19) laid the foundations for Haverhill, but wickets continue to tumble.
Teenager Josh Ruthven weighed in with a crucial 40 before skipper Greg Street saw his side home with just one ball to spare with an unbeaten 20.
Haverhill travel to Midenhall III for their final game seven points behind leaders Halstead II and 12 ahead of third placed Tuddenham, so depending on the result they could yet end the season in either first, second or third.