Melford comfortably bested by batsmen in expert form
Haverhill II (159-4) beat
Long Melford (155-8)
by six wickets
Haverhill’s second team took a decisive victory at home, to close the gap on a team who were nearly 50 points above them in the league.
An opening partnership of 125 from Haverhill’s batsmen, coupled by a strong showing from the team’s bowlers did the damage.
Long Melford won the toss and elected to bat, but struggled to strike at a good rate as Haverhill’s bowlers kept things tight.
Captain Jason Wade (58) reached his half century but shared the crease with six batsmen as the visitors struggled to find a rhythm.
Fellow opener David Hodge (23) and number three Bill Byford (14) were the only other Long Melford batsmen to hit double figures.
Haverhill skipper Liam Botten (2-33) and Joey Kettle (4-37) kept the runs down as Melford’s innings ended on 155-8.
Confidence ran high amongst the home team as Sam Hartshorn (75) and Marcus Richards (61) hit 28 boundaries during a devastating spell of batting from the openers.
Their 125-run partnership broke the back of the run chase with the remaining players needing less than 20 runs to win.
The loss of Josh Ruthven (0), Sam Street (4) and Lee Phillips (9) in quick succession likely caused concern but Joey Kettle (4 not out) was able to reach the target.
Haverhill reached the target in the 25th over, comfortably winning by six wickets.
Their next game is against a side within five points of them in the league, but they go into it with two losses on the trot.
A win would see them stretch their lead while a loss would likely see them drop several places down the table.
Long Melford face Tuddenham at home on Saturday (1pm).
n In Division Six, Long Melford II (186-9) lost to Bury St Edmunds III (188-8) by two runs.
The home side won the toss and elected to field, limiting openers Simon Alduous (16) and Tom Curry (19) to a 35-run partnership.
Wickets fell regularly, with Ivan Newman (3-34) and Lawrence Hall (3-55) the pick of the bowlers, but Bury were able to post a total of 188.
It started well in reply, as Melford got 56 runs before the first wicket fell — Matt Hoadley (33).
Phillip King (44) was good with bat and ball as he also took a wicket, as was Hall (21), but six batsmen hitting single figures saw Melford fall agonisingly short by just two runs.
They will play Worlington II away on Saturday (1pm).