BRAINTREE Cricket Club captain Louis Cant believes his team's win against Frinton seconds is a turning point in their Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division two season.

A 36-run victory against a Frinton side that was highly-fancied to win the division this year was Braintree's fifth victory in a row and has placed them at the top of the table, 42 points clear of the third-placed Seasiders.

That gives Braintree a clear buffer of more than two wins and with two teams being promoted, Cant knows that it is a significant result in the race for division one, but more importantly, he feels the Dolphins players are now really believing they can not just go up, but take the title as champions.

Cant said: "I think it’s a turning point for us in really starting to believe we can win the league now.

"Especially with a win against a side that good, it shows that we do belong in division one."

Braintree now head to Sudbury seconds on Saturday and Cant is clear about what he will be looking for from his team.

"We will be looking for a win and 20 points again," he added.

"We need to keep the gap as large as possible between us and the chasing pack.

"There’s no question about it now, the league is ours to lose.

"We will be doing everything we can to get it wrapped up as soon as possible and not give anyone the chance of challenging us towards the end of the campaign."

With so much on the line, Braintree knew it would be a tight game, especially as Frinton's first team were without an East Anglian Premier League fixture and it certainly didn't disappoint.

Dan Garner top scored with 82 and there were also half centuries at the top of the Braintree order from Warren Celiz and Will Jackson as they set their visitors a target of 287 for seven to chase.

Frinton's strength showed at the start of their replay as they made it to 165 before the first wicket fell, but Braintree's spinners then came to the fore, with Cant leading the way with a superb six for 63, including a hat-trick to wrap up the match, as the Dolphins triumphed.

Cant said: "It was one hell of a game of cricket; one of the most tense and exciting that I’ve played in for a while.

"With Frinton’s firsts' game being cancelled we knew that their second team was going to be extremely strong and I am very proud of the way we conducted ourselves from the start of the warm up.

"Our guys managed to stay focused from start to finish, whilst still managing to keep our calm.

"Our openers Will and Warren got off to a flyer again, which always helps to calm any nerves and even when our middle order started to get bogged down, they managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

"Dan Garner then came in and really took it to the spinners, with great affect, giving us a great total to defend.

"Our opening bowlers went out with real intent, on a deck that was definitely not a seam bowler's pitch.

"We were managing to keep the run-rate in comfortable position from the start, but the lack of wickets did start to get a bit worrying.

"We knew that two wickets was all it would take to change the game and we didn’t lose our heads or stop believing at any point.

"It was easily the best fielding performance for us this season and I think holding our catches and putting pressure on the batsmen with good fielding really won us the game."

Cant's bowling was part of a three-pronged spin attack that Braintree have at their disposal and along with Barry Stephens and Dean Bass, he is glad to be part of a formidable unit.

He added: "We have three of the best spinners in the league all firing at the moment and we have managed to utilise the dry pitches.

"Having the option of three spinners is a massive advantage and means that we can change it up whenever we want, never allowing the opposition to settle or get into a rhythm.

"This game was another example of us working as a team and a bowling unit.

"Barry Stephens bowled extremely well, managing to put pressure on the batsmen by starving them of runs, which allowed me and Dean Bass to bowl attacking lines to search for the wickets and pile on the pressure that way.

"Being able to lead by example is nice, but on another day I may be struggling and the roles will be reversed."