CAPTAIN Jake Wakelin admits Witham Cricket Club's win against Coggeshall was one they needed, but he isn't getting carried away in an extremely tight battle for this year's Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one title.

Witham moved up to fifth in the table with an eight-wicket win against their local rivals.

Four-wicket hauls from Greg Stephens and Carl Bragg and half-centuries by Michael Godwin and debutant Chris Huntington saw Witham ease to a welcome win after having had two games rained off and then suffering back-to-back defeats.

Wakelin was pleased to see his team get back to the form that saw them win 13 games on the bounce at the end of last season and the start of this one, but he knows this year's title race is going to be close and wants to see Witham back up their latest success with another good run.

"We needed the win after a couple of defeats but it is still early in the season," said Wakelin, whose team host Haverhill on Saturday.

"We've also had a couple of setbacks with the weather, but we believe in our ability and we know we are one of the best teams in the league.

"Coggeshall are a good side, so it was a very good result for us and good to see a strong all-round performance.

"It was back to the Witham of the end of last year and the start of this year.

"But we're not getting ahead of ourselves and we have to go well again this weekend against a Haverhill side who have been going well so far.

"It's such a tight league.

"Out of 12 teams in division one, I think there are maybe eight who can challenge (for the title) this year; there are a lot of good teams who have made good winter signings and it's showing that everyone is beating everyone.

"No-one is running away with it.

"There's a long way to go and no-one is going to go unbeaten, so we have to know each week that we are playing to win.

"Hopefully we can get on a run of four to five wins and we'll see where it takes us."

Wakelin also hailed the contribution made by new addition Huntington, who has joined Witham after playing at division one rivals Halstead for the last couple of years.

Huntington struck 72 from 57 balls in a match-winning opening partnership with Godwin, who hit an unbeaten 59, at the top of the order and Wakelin was happy to see Witham's new signing making an instant impact.

Wakelin added: "We were thinking about how we'd play it at the top of the order and whether I should open alongside Michael Godwin.

"But I'd struggled a bit for runs in the last couple of weeks and Chris also offered us a left-hander/right-hander combination, which gave us something a bit different.

"I think Coggeshall were expecting me to open as they opened with a bowler who had got me out last year, but we thought someone like Chris - a left-hander who is a very clean striker of the ball - could do a good job for us and it worked very nicely indeed.

"It's great to have someone like Chris on board; he is a great lad who has fitted in brilliantly and seems to enjoy being with the club."