CRICKET: Eaton Socon skipper hails revelation Roan after five-wicket haul inspires Saturday success

Gareth Macaskill hit 97 to help Eaton Socon beat Foxton last Saturday. Picture: SIMON COOPER

Gareth Macaskill hit 97 to help Eaton Socon beat Foxton last Saturday. Picture: SIMON COOPER - Credit: Archant

Eaton Socon captain Jonny Carpenter has hailed bowling revelation Roan Haarhoff for a sparkling run of Cambs & Hunts Premier League form.

The South African spinner, who has been based in the UK for more than a decade, was a surprise inclusion at first-team level this term after previously playing for the club's second XI.

But he has responded by becoming the leading wicket-taker in Whiting & Partners Division One - a position he cemented with a five-wicket haul last Saturday as Eaton Socon saw off struggling Ramsey at Peppercorn Lane.

Haarhoof swooped for 5-18 - a haul which included Ramsey top-scorer Jon Cade (36) - as Carpenter's men removed the visitors for 92 before prevailing by four wickets.

"Roan is a very clever bowler," said Carpenter. "He used to be a seamer but started bowling spin three or four years ago.

"He changes the height and pace of his deliveries and never really sends down a bad ball. He bowled very well again on Saturday against Ramsey when his wickets put us in a match-winning position.

"Roan fitted the bill by being a capable spinner who can also use the bat a bit if needed, but we could never have expected this many wickets from him.

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"The even bigger bonus for me is that Roan's brilliant form has meant I don't have to bowl as much as I've done in the past. I can have a nice, easy afternoon at slip now!"

Haarhoff has now claimed 18 victims this season - five more than any other Whiting & Partners Division One bowler - for just 130 runs from 43.4 overs.

Pace ace Joe Dawborn also did plenty of damage with 3-7 as Ramsey were sent packing in 32.2 overs.

Reaching a modest target for victory wasn't without hitches for Eaton Socon, but Gareth Macaskill produced a classy 43 to ensure they didn't slip up despite Cade and Mark Saunders bagging three wickets apiece.

"We did well to get the game on after so much rain last week," added Carpenter. "And we're even happier to have managed to win it.

"It was a very good bowling performance and Gareth then did very well with the bat to get us across the line. Batting wasn't easy but we always felt we had the situation under control."

While Eaton Socon stretched their winning streak to six completed matches this season, Ramsey have recorded only one success.

Eaton Socon host leaders Sawston & Babraham in a crunch title clash this Saturday while Ramsey head to Histon where a high-scoring game is usually assured.