Nothing to lose …but all to gain for cricket club this weekend
Haverhill Cricket Club’s vice chairman has urged the first team to ‘give it their all’ in the final game of the season this weekend, following the side securing promotion in their penultimate match.
The first team (248-4) beat Copford (128) by 120 runs on Saturday to ensure a top two spot in Division Two of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.
It was a result which left Greg Street ecstatic about the Manor Road side’s ‘great season’, following success in the Suffolk Twenty20 Cup and the midweek team claiming victory in the Adams Harrison Cup.
And it also left Haverhill with an ‘outside chance’ of overtaking leaders Lakenheath in the league, the only division yet to be decided this year.
But, with the gap at 19 points, Street is aware ‘it would take a miracle’ of the leaders being unable to raise a side, and Haverhill claiming a maximum 20 points for the situation to change.
They will instead host Sudbury II on Saturday – at an earlier time of 11.30am to accommodate the club whose first team looks likely to win the East Anglian Premier League – looking to enjoy their success and see what happens.
“The pressure is off,” he said. “It’s fantastic to have secured promotion with one game left so we have nothing to lose in the final game.
“It would take a miracle to catch Lakenheath now, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.
“We just want to make sure we give it our all.
“There is an outside chance after all, and then we know there’s nothing more we could have done.
“Either way, it’s been a great season and whatever happens in the final game, we’re back in Division One next year.”
The side had always targeted an immediate return to the Two Counties’ top flight, having been demoted in the final game last year.
But their campaign got off to a poor start with an opening game loss, to Lakenheath, back in April.
“There is a slight disappointment that we are unlikely to win the league,” Street added.
“But, on balance, Lakenheath beat us in both the home and away legs and so they perhaps deserve to take the title.
“That doesn’t mean we won’t have a go on Saturday though.”
He said he was delighted to see former captain Adam Dellar hit his first ton of the year with 102, almost doubling his 53-run best knock of the season – hit the week earlier.
“Really pleasing to see Adam hit a great score,” he said.
“Last weekend, in the T20 Cup, he batted really well and he took that form into the game.
“The best thing was to see him enjoying himself again, without the demands of being captain he can just concentrate on the cricket.”
Street said he thought this year’s team was ‘even better’ than last year, with the ‘winning performances’ of batsmen Luke Youngs and Mark Barrell added to the mix.
He said they had made a ‘massive difference’ to producing consistent batting in matches, and taking that pressure off captain Anthony Phillips and Dellar.
Against Copford, rain delayed the start of the match and it was reduced to a 40-over an innings match.
Dellar and Phillips (50) put up a 94-run first wicket partnership before Youngs (64) and Dave Brown (12) saw the side to 248-4 in 40 overs.
In reply, Harry Harding’s four-wicket haul for 31 runs, helped by Phillips (2-7), Simon Nicholson (1-12), Barrell (1-15) and Will Bailey (1-28) kept the Copford run rate down as they bowled them all out for 128 in 33.5 overs.