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Palmer leads the way as Heath triumph in nail-biting contest




KEY PLAYER: Dominic Palmer (left) celebrates his century with captain Shane Leech
KEY PLAYER: Dominic Palmer (left) celebrates his century with captain Shane Leech

MARSHALL HATCHICK

TWO COUNTIES

CHAMPIONSHIP

DIVISION TWO

Lakenheath (240-7) beat

Haverhill (238-9)

by two runs

Lakenheath started the 2018 season with a narrow victory over promotion hopefuls Haverhill on Saturday.

Dominic Palmer did much of the damage for the hosts thanks to his unbeaten knock of 112 runs.

Electing to bat first, a positive start saw Lakenheath reach 38-1 when new signing Chris Baugh was dismissed.

Paul Pallant (0) followed the very next ball, leaving skipper Shane Leech (17) coming in at number four to deny bowler Will Bailey a hat-trick. Haverhill’s young side rely heavily on their spinners and the home side were keen not to get bogged down.

Attacking shots led to the demise of Liam Flack (6), but this allowed Danny Rodic (59 from 44 balls) to punish any loose deliveries.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Palmer was caressing his way to a chanceless century which allowed Lakenheath to post an above par 240-7 at the close of their innings.

Lakenheath were aware that to win this game they had to dismiss Adam Dellar, Anthony Philips and Luke Youngs relatively cheaply and got of to a great start as Dellar and Philips were dismissed leaving Haverhill on 9-2.

Rodic (1-54) and Palmer (1-18) bowled well and the run rate went up to seven runs an over.

Leech bowled an economical spell (2-65 from 15), including the important wicket of former Mildenhall batsman Youngs for 80, but it was the short boundary at the other end the Haverhill batsman attacked.

Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, Haverhill were closing in on their target, needing 25 from the last two overs with a couple of wickets in hand.

Liam Botten punished Rodic’s last over of his spell, which meant that 10 were runs were required from the final over.

A simple catch was spilled from the penultimate ball, leaving Haverhill requiring a boundary from the last delivery for victory.

Fortunately for Lakenheath, the drama ended in their favour when Ben Wilkins failed to make decent contact with Carl Manels’ final delivery, leaving the home team to celebrate victory by a slender margin.

Leech’s men will look to build on that win when they travel to Kelvedon and Feering on Saturday (12.30pm).



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