Haverhill Cricket Club must 'stick together' in bid to avoid Division One relegation
Expectations have altered dramatically during the first half of the season at Haverhill Cricket Club.
A busy winter of additions had resulted in some real optimism being generated at Manor Road, with captain Liam Botten looking for his side to record a highest ever finish in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One.
However, as Botten prepares to take his side to East Bergholt on Saturday (12pm) for what will mark the halfway point of the campaign, Haverhill find themselves propping up the other 11 teams in the division.
As such, the remainder of the season is now all about preserving their Division One status – and Botten is urging everyone to stick together – particularly with some important fixtures on the horizon.
“There is no doubt that the expectations have changed,” said the skipper following last weekend’s 155-run defeat at Hadleigh.
“We had a chat with the lads at the weekend and we’ve got to accept that we’re now fighting against relegation.
“Now is the time for us all to stick in there, especially in the next four weeks because they are going to be really important.
“We play the teams that are in and around us so those games are crucial.
“We won’t be looking to make big changes to the way we play. It’s still all about trying to play positive cricket and making sure we work hard during the week.”
Botten believes many of the issues so far this term have been down to the mental side of the game rather than technical shortcomings.
As soon as one wicket falls a few tumble soon after, while scores of 20 or 30 are not being turned into 50s and 100s.
Wickets have also been tough to come by at times, although there were signs of improvement on that front on Saturday when they snared eight at Hadleigh.
“When you look at the team plenty of batsmen have got off to very good starts,” added Botten.
“But those 20s, 30s and even 50s are not being converted into 80s, 90s or centuries. If we can get that going then we’ll post decent scores and it will set us up nicely.
“And it’s not just the batsmen, we’ve struggled to take wickets at times as well during the season.
“We’ve actually played well in places but it’s been tough to stick a complete performance together.
“Sometimes we’ve had bad luck as well, but we’re also coming up against some very good sides. It’s down to us to put it right, hopefully starting at the weekend.”
Russell Davis (injured) and Callum Brunning (unavailable) will miss the trip to East Bergholt while Mohammad Chowdhury (ankle injury) is rated 50/50.