Halstead hope to upset the odds

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HALSTEAD hope to put a major dent in Vauxhall Mallard’s title aspirations when they travel to Norfolk to face the 2009 champions on Saturday (11am).

A 64-run victory over fourth-placed Horsford at Star Stile at the weekend has meant Tom Philp takes his side to Brundall, east of Norwich, full of confidence – and hopeful of upsetting the odds.

Their opponents lie just 33 points - or one win - off leaders Swardeston but also behind Great Witchingham, so know they need to see off Halstead to keep in the hunt for the title.

Philp, who took four wickets against Horsford as they were skittled out for 100 on a damp wicket, said of Saturday’s test: “Playing them away is always a tough fixture and they have got a good all-round team.

“They need to win with maximum points because of where they are in the league but we went up there last year at the end of the season and bowled them out for 130 and could and should have won that.

“But we are certainly going into it with confidence as we are playing well recently, but we have some hard games coming up and if we pick up points I will be pretty pleased.”

Halstead now lie seventh in the East Anglian Premier League, having leapfrogged Sudbury at the weekend after their heavy defeat at league-leaders Swardeston.

Halstead’s win over Hrosford, after posting 164 having been put into bat, saw 16-year-old leg spinner Jake Foley take a wicket – and Philp believes the Essex Academy teenager has a very bright future ahead of him.

“He is a good prospect and was the player-of-the-year for his age group for Essex,” he said.

Opening batsman Freddie Blackwell is in line to return to the line-up on Saturday, while spinner Charlie Douglas-Hughes is unavailable through work commitments.