HALSTEAD Cricket Club finally returned to action after three weeks off with a battling win over Wivenhoe Town.

Ed Clark's side won their Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one match by four wickets, at a damp Star Stile.

Clark won the toss and elected to field, Chris Rayner's early run out of Matt Durrell (9) left his brother Tom (42) at the crease, who alongside Rob MacDonald (31) rebuilt well.

Steady progress was made as the visitors moved toward 100 before MacDonald was bowled by Josh King (2-24).

This wicket sparked a minor collapse as Wivenhoe fell from 90-1 to 111-4 as Tom Durrell was trapped LBW by Ed Clark (1-25) and visiting skipper Nick Hillman (1) bowled by Josh King.

A 19-run stand between Jordan Nicholls (12) and Michael Canavon (24) ensured, but again a flurry of wickets was lost in quick succession.

Nicholls became the second run-out victim - this time courtesy of Josh King - before Canavon was bowled by Liam Jones (2-24).

Liam Holyman (2) fell to Josh Wells (1-32), Ross Evers was run out by Rayner (1) and Jones bowled William Kerr (0) as five wickets fell for 21 runs.

Joseph Nicholls (12*) and Henry Sawyer (6*) shepherded through the end of the 45 overs, setting Halstead 166 for victory.

It was a victory that seemed a long way away when four early wickets fell, leaving Clark's side at 34-4.

Chris Rayner (4) was caught at cover off Joseph Nicholls (1-23) whilst Charlie Douglas-Hughes (3) was stumped by Hillman off Tom Durrell (2-32).

The mission to stop Josh Wells' (6) run-scoring was a success as the prolific left-hander hit the ball straight to the fielder and ran but was left well short of his ground. Craig Spooner (4) then hit Durrell tamely to Holyman at cover.

Harry Pritchard (52) and Matt Cooper (34) were left in the doldrums, but the pair batted sensibly on a sticky wicket, putting on 62 for the fifth wicket.

Cooper hit four fours in his 43-ball innings, though departed when he hit a return catch to Ross Evers (2-45).

Clark (27*) joined Pritchard in the middle and the pair took Halstead toward their victory target, Pritchard passing a very well-made half-century in the process, before being bowled by Evers.

Joe Morris (26*) was the new man in and took to his task quickly, hitting two fours and a maximum as Halstead made it three wins from three completed games.