With hard graft on the training pitch now paying dividends, Haverhill RFC have put themselves in the frame to be real promotion contenders.
Last Saturday’s 13-10 victory at Bury Wolves not only left second-placed Haverhill just one win away from claiming top spot, it also made them the first side this season to beat the Greene King IPA Eastern Counties Division Two West leaders.
The victory was claimed with a dramatic last minute penalty from centre and assistant coach, Jake Jeffs, who had earlier set up Adam Hunt for a try, converted by Kieron Ewens, before kicking another penalty to tie the score and make the last ditch match-winning kick possible.
Jeffs has been taking many of the training sessions in the past few months with head coach Martin Hughes often away on business, and with the hard work producing results, knows the team has a realistic chance of a top two finish.
He said: “We are getting nearly 30 people at training and we are concentrating on core skills and we can see it coming out.
“Everyone is in the right frame of mind for core skills and you can see that.
“I would like to think we will be in the (promotion) mix but I take it one step at a time and if it comes it comes.
“If it doesn’t then it just gives you another little cushion to have one more year just to get better at our core skills.
“It’s not going to be an instant growth. I see this as a two-year plan. We just want to take it one step at a time and just do our best.”
On Saturday, Haverhill take on Cambridge IV at Castle Playing Fields (2pm kick off) looking to avenge a 78-6 defeat back in October.
“That is in the past though”, pointed out Jeffs, and Haverhill will go into the match properly prepared, knowing that should Bury Wolves slip up against third-placed Cantabrigians II and Haverhill win then they could be top of the table come 3.40pm.
Jeffs said: “We are hoping to field the same side as we fielded against Bury.
“If we win this one it’s a very good opportunity for us and it just eases the pressure.
“We’ve just got to do the best we can against Cambridge. You never know what you are going to get against them.
“We will take it on with the same mentality as we did against Bury and defend and take our opportunities when they come, which is working really well.”
He added: “The thing that does scare the life out of me now is I’ve just got to keep the lads’ feet on the ground and say ‘yes, we’ve done a job but we’ve still got a lot more to do’.”