BRAINTREE Cricket Club welcomed to Woolpit to Panfield Lane and for the third time this season, the previous day's weather caused a problem.

Even though a large area of the square had been covered, torrential rain seeped onto a small section of the wicket and the umpires deemed that the start to the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one match should be delayed.

Eventually after pressure from both teams the officials agreed to start with the match reduced to 40 overs per team.

Dan Garner won the toss and invited Woolpit to bat first and his decision was initially vindicated as after 22 overs the visitors had lost their first five wickets for just 81 runs.

Josh Paget got the ball rolling by having Kane Munday (3) caught behind the stumps by Garner and fellow opener George Tillbrook (20) soon followed him back to the pavilion, as he was caught by Chris Hinks off the bowling of Barry Stephens.

The Dolphins then claimed two prize wickets in the space of three overs, Andy Northcote (0) was run out following an excellent piece of fielding by Matt Hollingsworth and Chris Thomas (2) was clean bowled by Geoff Eveling.

Shortly afterwards Stephens tempted Alex Packer (4) into a big hit and Will Jackson took a comfortable catch on the boundary.

At the halfway stage of the innings Braintree were well on top, however Harry Bureau and Ryan Newcombe put Woolpit into the driving seat with a sixth wicket stand of 111.

Eventually Bureau was bowled by Hollingsworth for 117 and Newcombe was dismissed for 40.

After their 40 overs the visitors had accumulated 216 for the loss of seven wickets.

In reply, Chris Leech and Matt Renvoize got Braintree off to a good start putting on 62 runs for the first week.

Renvoize was seeing the ball well and had struck seven boundaries in a total of 34, however he fell to a catch on the boundary with probably his first mis-timed shot. Chris Hinks hit a four and a massive six off consecutive deliveries, but he too was well caught in the deep.

Chris Leech and Barry Stephens looked comfortable as they both slowly built an innings, unfortunately having scored 24 and 19 respectively they lost their wickets in quick succession.

Requiring 90 runs for victory, with six wickets in hand and a strong batting line up still to the come the Dolphins looked in a good position.

However, that’s when the wheels came off as Matt Hollingsworth (1), Major Singh (1), Dan Garner (1) and Steve Hale (5) were all sent packing with only Will Jackson showing any resistance.

Geoff Eveling (9) managed to stay around in the hope he could assist Jackson in reaching the winning target, when he was dismissed, the writing was on the wall.

Jacko had already deposited two balls out of the ground and when on 34 he attempted to do it for a third time he found himself stumped.

From being in a good position Braintree found themselves all out for 159, losing by 57 runs.

Disappointingly Braintree’s second XI scheduled game at Kelvedon was cancelled very early in the day due to a wet wicket.

Braintree welcome local rivals Halstead to Panfield Lane on Saturday, hoping to get back into winning ways.

Braintree's seconds have no fixture scheduled so a Gin and Prosecco Day (within Government guidelines) has been arranged to coincide with the firsts' home game.