North Essex Cricket League

A lovely Sunday weather wise, after some inclement weather in the preceding week. Unfortunately, for Great Horkesley & Lexden the rain was too much for the council to be able to prepare a pitch at Mile End and their Division Three game against Great Totham was called off on Friday. Both sides are looking to re-arrange that one. In Division One, Wivenhoe scored their first victory of the season at the fourth attempt with a hard fought win over newcomers Halstead. Division Two, saw Kelvedon maintain their unbeaten start with a 23 run win over Real Oddies, while Springfield were the beneficiaries of the first concession of the season, Witham being unable to field a side. In Division Three, Sudbury and Coggeshall maintained their winning starts with victories over West Bergholt and Boxted respectively. Sudbury skipper Keelan Waldock was the highest scorer in the league this weekend, with the only century a massive 147, while West Bergholt bowler Mustafa Irshad claimed the first five wicket haul of the season, in the same game with 5 for 58.

Read more: Week 5 - May 12 - Champions claim their first win of the season

Despite the cold weather there were some good high scoring competitive games, with plenty of excellent individual performances.
There was a tight game in Division One, where Clacton scored a five run victory over last season’s runner up Mistley. In Division Two, there were over 500 runs in the fixture at The Park, where Kelvedon chased down Witham’s 254 for 8. In Division Three, Coggeshall were rampant against West Bergholt, posting 277 for 8 before dismissing the visitors for 113. While newcomers Sudbury opened their account with a ten run success at Great Totham.
Two games in the T20 West Division, saw Galleywood beaten by Halstead by 143 runs on Sunday, and then 24 hours later by eight wickets at the hands of Witham.
Individually, there were three centuries with Michael Godwin of Witham posting the highest with 127 in a losing cause. Kelvedon’s Ed King (116) leading his side to victory in that game, while the other century came from Mistley’s new overseas player Khalipha Cele who’s 103 was unable to get the Swans over the line. Bowling performance of the weekend came Coggeshall’s Josh Morton who returned 4 for 14, as West Bergholt succumbed at Harefield, while Kieron Parkes who took 4 for 30 for Clacton in his sides win at Mistley.

Read more: Week 4 - May 5 and 6 - Good performances to brighten a chilly weekend

With the new season already three weeks old, and virtually no cricket last weekend (Wivenhoe were 6 for 0 after three overs at Clacton when the weather intervened), it is time to look into that crystal ball as the Division Two and Three season’s commence this weekend.

Another turburlent close season sees the forty over competition reduced to just 19 teams, with the withdrawal of Abberton, Chappel & Wakes Colne and Copdock before the AGM, and Braintree subsequently. Sudbury have rejoined the competition having last played in 1990 where they were crowned Division Four champions. That means there will be three divisions, Division One and Two will have six sides and Division Three will have seven.
The T20 sees an increase in membership, with twelve teams taking part this year. Abberton, Elmstead, Frinton, Witham and Halstead are all joining the competition, while Ipswich, 7 Para RHA and Braintree have withdrawn. Two groups of six will play each other once, with the top two in each group proceeding to Finals Day, this year at Halstead CC, on Monday 26th August.

Read more: The return of the Crystal Ball !

Colchester & E.E. and Wivenhoe renewed acquaintances on Easter Sunday at Castle Park, with the weather resembling mid summer rather than late April, and shirt sleeves rather than the excessive jumpers of the previous week.

Read more: Week 2 - April 21 - Colchester complete double over Wivenhoe

The 2019 season began on Saturday at Rectory Road, where champions of the last two years Wivenhoe welcomed Colchester & E.E., with the twenty two players braving the bracing April temperatures of 7c, a raw Easterly and occasional sleet showers !

Read more: Week 1 - April 13 - MacGregor slays the Champions

The final round of matches in Division Two and Three, saw the remaining outcomes decided. In Division Three, Kelvedon & Feering were confirmed as champions following a ten run victory at bottom of the table West Bergholt, who put up a valiant fight. Bergholt did at least claim enough points to avoid the wooden spoon, which went to Coggeshall. Elsewhere in Division Three, Real Oddies claimed a six wicket success over Great Horkesley & Lexden. In Division Two, Braintree and Springfield both missed out on the Runner Up spot, by suffering defeats in their respective matches. Chappel & Wakes Colne claim the second spot to end their tenure on a high in the NECL, having given notice to withdraw in 2019. Abberton avoided relegation on Saturday night, when visitors Braintree conceded – unfortunately for the Dolphins not notifying the Results Secretary by 10pm on Saturday resulted in a ten point deduction. So Witham started the day in the drop zone and required seven points to leap frog Great Totham, and duly claimed the full twenty with a 33 run win at home to Springfield. Champions Halstead, signed off with a seven wicket win over Eight Ash Green. The only game in Division One, saw Mistley defeat Galleywood by five wickets, to go to the summit of the table. They are assured of runners up spot at least, but will be champions if Wivenhoe are unable to secure twenty points at home to Galleywood in the season’s final match next Sunday.
Individually, two centurions this weekend, with Josh Ruthven (108) starring in Halstead’s run chase, while an unbeaten 103 by Springfield’s Noah Pothen was unable to steer his side to victory. The only fivefor also came at Star Stile, where Callum Hansey (5 for 41) tore through the Eight Ash Green lower order.

Read more: Week 22 (September 16th) Kelvedon - Division Three champions, Mistley go top of Division One,...