HALSTEAD Cricket Club first team captain Josh Wells is pleased to be seeing their young homegrown players making successful steps up to the senior level and having a big impact on their fortunes.

It was a low-scoring game for Halstead last weekend, but their two-wicket win against Ipswich got them off the mark after defeats in the the opening two fixtures of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one season.

Having skittled Ipswich out for 81, Halstead laboured to 73 for eight, before two of their youngest players - Lewis Brennan and Liam Jones - came together for the ninth wicket.

With Halstead keen to record their first win - against the only side below them in the fledgling table - the pressure was on the youthful pair, but they showed commendable composure to guide their side home with no further slips and Wells, who top-scored with 39 and took four wickets, praised their contributions.

He said: "We bowled well after making a good tight start and it should have been a much more comfortable win than it was, but we lost wickets consistently through our innings and the pressure was on.

"I thought if I could stay there until the end then I could guide us home but I was out with 18 still needed.

"However, the two young boys did a great job in finishing it off and that was probably the nicest thing to take from the game. "Both have come through the club's youth teams and had only played a handful of games at first-team level between them, but the way they handled the pressure was excellent.

"Lewis' bowling figures have been very good so far this year and the three wickets (for 17 runs) he took against Ipswich have kept him as our leading wicket-taker so far and it shows how he is not fazed at all by this level of cricket.

"Liam played a few times last year, but he also showed that he's ready to nail down a first team spot.

"That's really pleasing for the club to see and we have nine players, who were in the side against Ipswich or who will be playing (against Hadleigh) on Saturday, who have come through our colts set-up.

"We want to see people doing well at younger levels, then in the seconds and taking their chances in the first team when they are given them."

Halstead will now look to build on their first win when they head to Hadleigh on Saturday and Wells said two new faces may be in the line-up.

Batsman Charlie Latham is available for a first start, while fast bowler Shaun Bobb is set for a return.

Wells said Bobb was only able to play a handful of times for Halstead last summer, but the club are hoping he will be available more this season and the skipper is now looking for his side to push on from their opening success.

He added: "That win against Ipswich was massive for us because it had been a slow start to the season for us.

"Hopefully that won't show at the end of the season, but it was a clash between two sides at the bottom and important for us to win.

"We just have to try to be more consistent now.

"We have looked good with the ball so far and we're hoping to see improvements with the bat so it will be good to push on now."