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Haverhill Cricket Club halt losing run with pleasing home victory



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Chairman Rob Dovaston is happy Haverhill are heading in the right direction again after registering a morale-boosting 18-run success over strong starters Copford at Manor Road.

Saturday’s success came after a run of three straight defeats had followed an opening-day victory, having been relegated back down to Division Two of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.

A fourth defeat on the spin was avoided though after what Dovaston – who has returned to the first team at the age of 42 – described as a ‘really good team performance’.

Ricardo James, pictured losing his wicket, top scored for Haverhill in their win over Copford. Picture: Mark Westley
Ricardo James, pictured losing his wicket, top scored for Haverhill in their win over Copford. Picture: Mark Westley

After second-placed Copford had won the toss and elected to field there were worrying early signs as opener Sam Hartshorn was bowled out for five.

But Dovaston (38) came in to put on a key 107-run second wicket stand with Riccardo James (68) before Doyl D’Silva’s 66 propelled the innings towards the defendable target.

The visitors put on 89 for the first wicket but the spin bowling of captain Ben Wilkins, 4-40 of 11 overs, and Callum Brunning, 4-32 off 12 overs, ended up sealing the victory by 18 runs.

Chairman Rob Dovaston (left) has returned to the first-team fold. Picture: Mark Westley
Chairman Rob Dovaston (left) has returned to the first-team fold. Picture: Mark Westley

“Losing Sam Hartshorn was a blow but we did well,” said Dovaston. “They got off to a bit of a flyer but we managed to peg it back with some good spin bowling from Ben and Callum so it’s happy days.”

And he feels what has looked a shaky return to life back in Division Two could have easily been very different.

“We went close against Easton, getting 228 and losing (by one wicket),” he said.

“The game last week (four-wicket loss at Kelvedon & Feering) was a wet one where we lost the toss and got put in to bat first and got bowled out cheaply.

Ricardo James on his way to a top-scoring 67 for Haverhill at Manor Road on Saturday. Picture: Mark Westley
Ricardo James on his way to a top-scoring 67 for Haverhill at Manor Road on Saturday. Picture: Mark Westley

“We still took six of their wickets. If we had won the toss we would have bowled so we could easily be four (victories) and one (defeat) but we are not.

“We are just below mid-table, there are four teams within four points of each other and we look forward to Lakenheath away on Saturday.”

Haverhill travel to the only side that are yet to win a game so far sitting third from bottom, but they will not take anything for granted.

“We know them lot as we have been playing against them for a very long time,” said Dovaston.

He also revealed top order batsman Chris Palmer is set to return to the team following a broken hand sustained playing football ‘in the next few weeks’.

Of his own reintroduction to the first-team fold, he explained: “I’m 42 and played in the seconds for a while but a few players have moved on and Ben has said look, I want your experience in the middle and he’s got me back in the team batting at the top end. I’m just doing my bit.”