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Respect of players is vital for us umpires

for our local sides, victories for Mildenhall, Sudbury, Halstead and Lakenheath, but defeats for Worlington, Hadleigh, Haverhill, Exning and Long Melford

Mildenhall maintained their push for the top spot in Division One with a five wicket win over bottom club Elmstead Grasshoppers. Elmstead 216-8, Tom Allen 2-43, Mildenhall 217-5, Joe Reed 81. An away trip to Coggeshall is next up.

Sudbury retained their slender lead at the top with a 155 run victory against Coggeshall. Sudbury 286-4, Tom Huggins 118, Nathan Poole 101, Coggeshall 131, Billy Moulton-Day 4-33. Saturday sees a local derby away at Hadleigh.

Worlington were very easily beaten by Frinton IIs, losing by 10 wickets. Worlington 123, Ziaf Kulasi 43 not out, Frinton 126-0. This week’s visitors are Maldon.

Hadleigh made the trip to Witham but came away empty handed after a very entertaining game. Hadleigh 283-9, Tom Piddington 81, Witham 284-3, Sam Handley 2-50. This Saturday they entertain local rivals Sudbury.

Halstead came away with the spoils at Wivenhoe after a narrow two wicket victory. Wivenhoe 195, Joe Morris 4-48, Halstead 196-8, Mark Johnson 47. They host high flying Witham on Saturday.

Haverhill came down to earth with a bump, losing at Copford by 79 runs. Copford 193, Callum Brunning 6-58, Haverhill 114, Will Bailey 25. The visitors on Saturday are Lakenheath.

Exning lost an entertaining game at home to Braintree by just 11 runs. Braintree 228-7, Simon Lawson 4-54, Exning 217-7, Tim Catley 75. Next is a visit to Sudbury IIs.

Finally, back to back victories for Lakenheath have seen them rise up the table, this time they beat Long Melford by 52 runs.

Lakenheath 152-9, Dominic Palmer 61, Tom Barnard 3-29, Long Melford 100, Dan Heath 34, Tim Milner 4-39. Lakenheath are away to Haverhill, and Melford away to Ipswich.

There are some sides in the leagues who get the reputation, rightly or wrongly, for being, shall we say ‘difficult’ to umpire, sometimes crossing the line with unacceptable behaviour.

I always like to try and get to know players, learning their first names, getting to know their personalities and what makes them tick.

That way you soon get to know if that odd swear word is just frustration, or if there is an underlying problem that is about to escalate.

I believe that good man management skills can help you quickly diffuse a situation and ultimately help you gain the respect of the players.

It is all too easy to jump straight into a ‘discipline report mode’ which can very often have the opposite effect.

We all make wrong decisions at times but if you have the respect of the players they will usually accept them with good humour, often having a bit of banter with you, which I thoroughly enjoy.

This column is new for this season, I hope you all enjoy reading it, any comments or suggestions you may have you can email me directly at ronald.raisey@jpress.co.uk. I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

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