Signs of improvement give new coach encouragement

FORWARD RUN: Haverhill look to make up some ground during Saturdays 38-6 defeat to Cambridge Adventurers
FORWARD RUN: Haverhill look to make up some ground during Saturdays 38-6 defeat to Cambridge Adventurers

EASTERN COUNTIES GREENE KING LEAGUE

DIVISION ONE WEST

Haverhill & District 6

Cambridge Adventurers 38

‘Improvement’ was the word of the day in Haverhill, following their home match against Cambridge Adventurers.

The squad went in to Saturday’s game dealing with big changes in management, as it emerged that Tony Hope had stood down as head coach — with assistant Steve Bowak taking on the mantle.

And, with it being the return league fixture against the Cambridge club’s third string, the team knew they were in for a hard battle. Haverhill lost the reverse fixture 77-5 on September 23, as the reality of losing so many first-team players in the off-season was felt.

In that match, the Adventurers ‘loaned’ four of their players to the visiting side, as they were unable to field a full 15. Bowak said the team had developed a lot since that game six weeks ago.

He said: “There’s obviously still a lot to do and learn but we’ve made big strides, there’s been great improvement from game to game.

“And this week made that very clear, we really competed in a way we couldn’t when we first played them. Tackling is an area we have been struggling with, but I’m really happy with that aspect right now.

“That was one of the best performances we have shown this season. We’re getting better game by game and the scores are showing that.

“But, to be honest, we’re just waiting for the league to split into top and bottom-half in January.”

The game began sombrely, with a minute’s silence observed before kick off, but ended with a smile on everyone’s face. Haverhill, because they competed, and Cambridge, because they won.

It took 10 minutes before the Adventurers were able to break the deadlock, powering in from the 22 for the try, the first of six on the day.

But just two minutes later and the visitors were over for their second score, with the kicker again adding the extras.

Haverhill produced strong defence to prevent the whitewash, but prolonged pressure in the 22 eventually paid off for the visitors, who touched down their third try.

Straight from the kick off, Cambridge ran in their fourth for the bonus point.

Haverhill showed intent in the second half, with some strong runs, but were only able to get two penalties for their hard work.

Cambridge scored two more tries, one converted, to seal a much tougher result than their first match.

The side face a weekend off before hosting Thurston on Saturday, November 25 (2pm).