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Winning end tops off best finish for Haverhill Cricket Club since 2013

Haverhill Cricket Club captain Anthony Phillips was ‘delighted’ to end the season on a winning note, to top off a campaign which has seen them secure their best finish in the Two Counties’ top flight since 2013.

Haverhill (269-5) beat Woolpit (139) by 130 runs on Saturday to end their seasonal return to Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship with victory to wrap up an eighth place finish.

It is the club’s highest finish in the league since ending the 2013 season in seventh place.

Haverhill v Woolpit cricket action. Barry Collins bowling for Woolpit.. (16609537)
Haverhill v Woolpit cricket action. Barry Collins bowling for Woolpit.. (16609537)

Their league position came despite an eight match winless streak ahead of the final match, with the team suffering seven of their 12 losses – and one cancellation – in succession, while recording just two of their eight wins in the second half of the season.

“We’ve been battling hard for a win, it had been a hard run without victory,” Phillips said. “So it was good to get that win in the last game and end on a high. I’m delighted by the result and by the season overall actually, even if there was that long run of really tough fixtures and some poor batting performances too.

“But my target at the start of the season was to bed ourselves back into Division One and I would say that’s been a huge success. It’s not often the case that we are far from the pressures of a relegation battle in the final match and we played with a freedom that comes from not having to win.”

They went into the Woolpit game knowing they could not finish in a bottom two position, but with eighth, ninth and 10th position to play for.

“If you look at the players in the first five games, we had the skills and the team to beat anyone, our early results show that,” Phillips said.

“We’ve been a little unlucky since; we lost big players in big games and that had a big impact on our results.

“I think I had 25 players turnout for me this season and I am so proud to have been captain of the side that stayed up in eighth place.”

Phillips, who has just wrapped up his first full season as first team captain, has at times struggled with the bat with seven of his 18 innings ending on single figure scores.

But he also overturned this poor run with his only century of the season in the Woolpit game, as he stole the highest score crown off fellow first team batsman Luke Youngs at the final opportunity.

“It’s not been my best season with the bat,” the young captain admitted. “In fact, hundreds have been hard to come by for us all this season, so it is a bit of personal pride to get one.”

He combined with Luke Youngs (89) for a 191-run second wicket stand on Saturday, helped by a 25-ball knock of 38 from Adam Dellar, as the side amassed 269-5.

In reply, Ben Wilkins (3-13), James Boulton (3-22), Sam Charlton (2-24), Dan Pass (1-11) and Olly North (1-14) kept the wickets tumbling on regular occasions to limit the visiting side to 139 all out.

Phillips added that he hopes his name will be in the hat for the captaincy role next season but that the club would now take a bit of a back seat until the AGM in the new year.

End of season awards:

First XI

- Batsmen: Adam Dellar

- Bowler: Simon Nicholson

- Player: Luke Youngs

Second XI

- Batsmen: Sam Hartshorn

- Bowler: Olly North

- Player: Martyn Wilkins

Third XI

- Batsmen: Jack Simmons

- Bowler: Dan Wallage

- Player: Kev Austin

Arthur Sumpton Trophy: Kev Austin

Echo Award Winner: Raj Singh

Haverhill T20 Midweek League: Harry Harding & Mick Franks

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