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Division Two title chasers Lakenheath taking nothing for granted against basement side

Title-chasers Lakenheath will be taking nothing for granted when they host bottom side Ipswich & East Suffolk, insists their captain Shane Leech.

CRICKET - Haverhill (Bowling) v Lakenheath (Batting)...Pictured: Shane Leech....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. .. (3863008)
CRICKET - Haverhill (Bowling) v Lakenheath (Batting)...Pictured: Shane Leech....PICTURE: Mecha Morton. .. (3863008)

With just three games of the season left to go, Lakenheath sit top of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two table, 19 points ahead of Haverhill in second place.

Perhaps more significantly, though, Leech’s men are 30 points clear of third-place Braintree, which means a victory on Saturday, coupled with a defeat for Braintree against Kelvedon & Feering, could be enough to clinch a top-two finish and promotion up to Division One.

A home clash against basement side Ipswich, who have recorded only four wins all season, would be perceived as the perfect fixture for the table toppers to edge closer to promotion, and the title, but skipper Leech is wary of the threat they pose to his side on Saturday (12.30pm).

“Ipswich are not a bad side,” he said. “They’ve beaten Clacton and Mildenhall recently and Mildenhall are fourth in the league, so we’re taking nothing for granted.

“They’ve lost their last five and we’ve won our last five so you would expect us to win, but we cannot afford to be complacent.

“They beat us at their place last year as well, so we know what they can do.

“Last weekend against Little Bardfield we saw that as a potential big banana skin, but we managed to get a good win.

“I think if we were to win, the club is in a much better place to go up.

“We were not expecting to go up this season. Haverhill were the team who were expected to go up, but we’ve put no pressure on ourselves.

“Dom (Palmer) has been unbelievable for us this season, as has Chris Baugh next to him.

“When you have two people who can start the innings well and score runs then you always give yourselves a chance.”

Lakenheath took their winning run to five games last weekend, beating Little Bardfield Village by 110 runs to move within 31 points of promotion.

After Baugh was caught out for a golden duck in the first ball of the innings, opener Palmer and captain Leech put on 148 runs for the second wicket, before Palmer departed for 56.

Leech remained unbeaten on 121 as Lakenheath finished their innings on 228-6 from their 45 overs.

In reply, the home side’s run chase never got going, as they were quickly reduced to 44-5, as Danny Rodic (3-31) blitzed through the top order.

Matt Graham (31) and Will Slemmings (18) stemmed the tide somewhat with a 48-run partnership, but when Slemmings was caught by Liam Flack, the wickets continued to tumble.

Carl Manels (3-41) and Baugh (2-14) did the damage to the bottom order as the hosts were bowled all out for 118 inside 37 overs.