CAPTAIN Louis Cant feels his buoyant Braintree Cricket Club first-team players are riding the crest of the wave of their own success as the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division two season continues to take shape.

Braintree continued to show they are among the title favourites with another strong display against Elmstead last weekend and head to East Bergholt on Saturday sat firmly in the top three in the table.

Against Elmstead, Dean Bass claimed a hat-trick with the ball in taking another five wicket-haul, while Warren Celiz and Dan Chalk both fell just short of centuries in an impressive batting display and the skipper is pleased to see players stepping forward to take responsibility every week.

He said: "It really feels like we’re gaining some momentum now and it was a win against a side that have some really talented players.

"I was speaking to the guys at training and I think everyone feels as though we really are gelling and working as a unit.

"It gives everyone confidence and freedom to play their own game, knowing that we have plenty of players willing and able to step up if one of us having an off day."

Braintree are now sat third in the division two table just one point below second-placed Copford and only ten adrift of Frinton seconds - the only side to have beaten the Dolphins so far this year - and Cant is confident that his team are moving in the right direction.

He added: "It’s definitely been a good start and I feel like our only loss was down to bad luck.

"We just need to keep the consistency of our batting line-up, which is always key in achieving big scores consistently and keep bowling to our plans and not be afraid to be attacking at the right times."

Cant wasn't available for the 49-run win against Elmstead, with Robbie Spalding taking over as captain in his absence, but he is set to return for the trip to East Bergholt this weekend.

The hosts could have the in-form Sam Foster in their line-up and Cant knows a batsman who has made back-to-back centuries in the last two weeks could be a key scalp, but he is confident his team have the quality to secure a fourth consecutive win.

Cant said: "In the last couple of weeks I believe one player, Sam Foster, has scored two hundreds, but it only takes one good ball to get any batsman out.

"So if we get him early and stick to our plans, I have every confidence we can get another convincing win on the board.

"We have another very strong line up this week, even with two of our players, Ben Golds and Major Singh, both missing a week to spend time with their newly-born children.

"Ben had a baby boy and Major has had a baby girl and the club wishes them the biggest of congratulations."

Meanwhile, influential spin bowler Barry Stephens is still out after a calf injury, but Cant said he was getting close to a return

"I believe it’s getting better for Barry," he said.

"We think he’ll be back training in another week or so."