HALSTEAD Cricket Club captain Josh Wells admits this year's Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one campaign has been a challenge, but says the club are already putting plans in place so they can move forward next year.

A four-wicket win at Worlington on the final day of the season saw Halstead wrap up with three straight victories, but although they finished with a flourish, much of the summer has been spent with them looking over their shoulders at the relegation scrap.

That has been tough and Wells said availability of players had contributed to their struggles, but he feels the club can look forward with confidence.

He said: "We have looked at it over the course of the season and I think the main problem has been player availability.

"We lost a few players at the start of this year for various reasons and had others unavailable during the summer and that hasn't helped us.

"It's meant we've had to use younger players and seeing them develop has been a positive, but it's been a shame that we haven't been able to compete at the levels where we were the year before.

"While it has had its positives, fielding an inexperienced team with younger players has been a challenge for us. "This has been my fifth year as captain and I'd say it has been the most challenging in terms of results, but we've got through it and have managed to stay at the same level and we're now looking to move on next year.

"We've had a good finish to the season and hopefully we can carry that forward now and see where we can build for next year to make sure we grow as a side.

"We want to look at adding strength for next year and there are some things that are already being put in place for that."

Halstead made sure they would sign off on a high by winning for a third week in a row as they beat Worlington by four wickets.

Having been set a target of 277 to chase by their hosts, Halstead got off to a superb start as Harry Pritchard scored a second consecutive half century and his opening partner, Chris Rayner, scored a maiden first-team century.

The duo put on 159 for the first wicket and laid the platform for Halstead to get to their target with four wickets in hand and four overs to spare.