New Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One leaders Haverhill face big test against last year's champions Worlington on Saturday + Haverhill IIs and IIIs round-up
Adam Dellar says Haverhill face a big test when they host last year’s champions Worlington at Manor Road this weekend, writes Alex Moss.
Worlington finished 57-points clear at the top of Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One in 2018, but missed out on promotion after losing to Saffron Walden in an East Anglian Premier League Promotion Play-Off at the end of the season.
It has been a slow start so far for their title defence, though, with their maiden win of the current campaign only coming last weekend, albeit in impressive fashion when they thumped then leaders Coggeshall Town by eight wickets.
Coggeshall’s defeat, coupled with Haverhill’s 24-run win at Maldon, means that for the second straight week Worlington will face the team in top spot, when they visit new leaders Haverhill on Saturday (1pm).
Former captain Dellar, who scored an innings-best 57 in last Saturday’s victory at Maldon, believes that Haverhill’s early-season form, which has seen them triumph in all four of their opening four fixtures, shows they are a genuine threat in Division One in 2019.
“We have played all four of the teams that are the four teams at the bottom of the table,” Dellar said.
“I don’t think it will stay like that for the whole season, but we’ve got a big test this weekend against Worlington.
“Our first two games we won quite comfortably, but the last two weeks against Mistley and Maldon have been a lot closer against two good sides who are both seasoned Division One teams.
“There’s a great vibe around the club at the moment. We’ve got a mixture of match winners and players that have experience at the level above, and also a lot of us have played in Division One before.
“We’re a threat now. I think we’ve always been a threat during parts of the last four or five years, but all the way through the team we’ve got match winners who can do it with the ball or the bat, or make an amazing catch or a run out.”
On Saturday, half centuries from Anthony Phillips (54) and Dellar (57) took Haverhill to 176-6, before Phillips (3-24) and Rajan Singh (5-26) bowled Maldon for 152.
Provisional Haverhill team to play Worlington this Saturday: D Pass, A Phillips (c), L Youngs (wkt), A Dellar, J Boulton, M Barrell, R Singh, W Bailey, B Wilkins, H Harding, S Nicholson.
Haverhill II climbed up to second in the Division Three table, after easing past Ipswich & East Suffolk by seven wickets at Manor Road on Saturday.
The home side were in a ruthless mood with the ball as, after winning the toss and putting Ipswich in to bat first, they bowled their opponents out for just 47 runs.
Oliver North (4-9) and Liam Botten (2-20) did the most damage, claiming six of the 10 wickets, while Russell Davis (1-11) and Martyn Wilkins (1-0) struck at the beginning and end.
Haverhill’s opening three batsmen Sam Hartshorn (14), Craig Williams (12) and Sam Street (0) lost their wickets as the hosts reached 42-3, with Joey Kettle (19no) getting them over the line on 53-3.
Haverhill (2nd) go in search of a third straight win when they visit second-from-bottom Stowmarket on Saturday (1pm).
In Division Nine West, Haverhill III also occupy second spot after winning by four wickets at Elveden at the weekend.
Hosts Elveden were a man light and the match was reduced to 35 overs each, due to the rain.
Joshua Brailey (3-3) and Simon Hird (3-22) both claimed three wickets as Elveden were restricted to 77.
With a low total required in the run chase, opener Brailey (28) top scored for the visitors, before Greg Street (11no) and Joseph Rinaldi (6no) got the winning runs to take Haverhill to 80-6 after 20 overs.
Haverhill (2nd) host Stradbroke (8th) on Saturday (1pm).