North Essex Cricket League

The 12 players selected for each of the Divisional Teams of the Year are listed below, and are my own personal opinion and statistically based. Because of the number of games lost through concessions and withdrawals, to qualify, players have had to have played five games in Division One and Three, four games in Division Two and Four, and three games in the T20.

No prizes are awarded for being selected in the Team of the Year, just the prestige of being one of the 60 players selected.

Read more: Divisional Teams of the Year 2017

Division One

A glorious final day to the 2017 season saw just the one game as Frinton looked to reclaim their Division One title with victory over the leaders Wivenhoe at Ashlyns Road. Wivenhoe came into the game knowing that six points would see them lift their first NECL title in 33 years, and their fourth in total. Batting first against a stronger than average Frinton NECL side, Wivenhoe made good early progress as Matt Durrell (24) and Liam Hope-Shackley (22) put on 47 for the first wicket before both were caught at the wicket by Dominic Stockdale off the bowling of Antony Stubbs (2 for 36). James Butcher (34) and Harry Burnett (22) put on a third wicket stand of 57, before six wickets fell for four runs as Mervyn Westfield (4 for 29) wrecked the Wivenhoe middle order. Dominic Stockdale was helping himself to five dismissals at the wicket (4 catches and 1 stumping) in the process. At 110 for 8, the league leaders were having a serious wobble, however, a ninth wicket stand of 58 between Paul Farrow (26no) and Liam Fields (27) lifted them to a less mediocre score of 168 for 9, and half way to the six points they required. In reply, Frinton were quickly in disarray as Aussie Liam Hope-Shackley blasted through the top order on his way to match winning figures of 6 for 45. Only Stockdale (23) passed twenty as Hope-Shackley took the sixth Frinton wicket to see Wivenhoe lift the title with the score on 62. Harry Burnett then completed the victory for the visitors by mopping up the tail with 3 for 9, as Frinton were bowled out for 87, to give Wivenhoe their 12th win of the season, by a margin of 81 runs. The Hoe were deserved winners of the title having led from pillar to post, although all credit should be given to Runners-Up Frinton for taking the competition to a final day after losing their two opening fixtures.

So there it is another NECL season completed, congratulations to the Divisional champions and all those individuals who have played their part on and off the field. There have been plenty of excellent individual performances on the field, with 40 centuries and 32 fivefors achieved.
However, it is not an understatement to say that the NECL is facing difficulties not unlike many other leagues that primarily play on Sundays, 2017 saw a record 46 concessions. The League Committee are aware of a number of withdrawals for 2018 season, so we expect the NECL will look quite different next year.

Thank you to all the administrators, who have in the main diligently put the results up within the time constraints, ensuring the weekly roundup is as complete as possible on the Wednesday morning. The final roundup of the year next week, will see the coveted Divisional Teams of the Season announced.

Performance of the Season - vote on Twitter closes on Tuesday

Charlie Prudence 198no Springfield v. Kelvedon
Luke Conway 7 for 28 Great Horkesley & Lexden v. Elmstead
Chris Pettit 6 for 1 Abberton v. Harwich & Dovercourt
Will Jackson 129 T20 Rec - Braintree v. Kelvedon

Sunday saw a cold and damp autumn day, which was probably not conducive to cricket, as the 2017 season comes to its inevitable close, with results in three of the five games played. In Division One Great Horkesley & Lexden ended a difficult season with a 64 run victory over fellow strugglers Eight Ash Green, condemning the Green to bottom place. Mistley were going well against championship chasing Wivenhoe when the rain hit at New Road. In Division Three, Springfield ended the season as Runners Up with their twelfth victory of the season, by defeating Chappel & Wakes Colne second string. In Division Four, Real Oddies are Runners Up as they beat the rain to complete a nine wicket victory over Great Braxted and Tiptree, while Coggeshall’s hopes were dashed by the rain and a waterlogged pitch at home to champions Braintree. Bowlers were on top this weekend with the stand out performance from Luke Conway of Great Horkesley & Lexden who claimed 6 for 27, including a hat trick against Eight Ash Green. Springfield’s Alan Warley also claimed a fivefor, returning 5 for 37 in his sides win over Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds.

Read more: Week 23 - September 17

The Division One title race will go down to the final game of the season on September 24th, when Frinton welcome Wivenhoe to Ashlyns Road. For the second time in three weeks Frinton were the beneficiaries of an Elmstead concession, which saw Elmstead slip to fifth in the table. Mistley climbed into fourth courtesy of an eight wicket victory over Great Horkesley & Lexden, while there was tight encounter at Fordham Heath, where the visitors Clacton prevailed by three runs over Eight Ash Green. The final game in Division Two saw Witham end with five wins on the bounce following a 75 run victory over Stebbing. In Division Three, the champagne was popped open at Galleywood as a 12 run victory over lowly Cavaliers saw them clinch back to back titles. Kelvedon claimed fourth place from nearest rivals West Bergholt with a seven wicket victory. Only one game in Division Four, saw Coggeshall climb into second place, with a win by concession over Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds who complete their campaign with four successive concessions.
There was just the one century coming from Stebbing’s Stephen Heywood (100no) in his team’s defeat at Witham. There were some near misses with Witham’s Michael Headley (91), Michael Godwin (96) and Cavaliers Noman Jalib (92) all perishing in the nineties. Mistley’s James Stamatis smashed an incredible unbeaten 75 off just 20 balls in his sides Division One victory at home to Great Horkesley & Lexden. The best bowling performance of the weekend came at Eight Ash Green, where Clacton’s Bradley Pitts claimed 5 for 30, whilst Mistley’s George Hutton returned 4 for 58 in his sides victory.

Read more: Week 22 - September 10

The last substantial weekend of the NECL season saw thirteen matches scheduled. Unfortunately, the curse of the season once again reared its ugly head with four more concessions to add to the total. In Division One, Frinton are keeping their hopes of retaining the title following a five wicket win at Eight Ash Green. Colchester & E.E beat Elmstead on Friday evening to move into third, but completed their programme on Sunday with defeat at Clacton, which almost certainly ensures survival for the coastal side. Elmstead can still claim third at Colchester’s expense, if they beat Frinton in their final game, after picking up twenty points following Great Horkesley & Lexden’s concession. Copdock are Division Two champions following a five wicket success over Halstead, while Chappel & Wakes Colne claimed the runners up spot, despite a four run defeat at home to Witham. Stebbing picked up twenty points following Gosfield’s concession but are condemned to the drop themselves. In Division Three, champions elect Galleywood were comfortable winners over Harwich & Dovercourt, who have served notice of their withdrawal from the competition in 2018. Kelvedon racked up the highest score of the season with a massive 368 for 4, in a 245 run win over Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds, while West Bergholt won by 17 runs in their match against Cavaliers. There was only one game in Division Four, as Coggeshall defeated Boxted by 71 runs. The other two games resulted in concessions as Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds conceded to champions Braintree, while Great Braxted & Tiptree conceded to Tendring.
Three centuries this weekend, saw the Kelvedon duo of Ollie Parsons (113) and Ed King (105) both reached three figures in their big total, while Coggeshall’s Louis Gibson (105) posted his third century of the campaign in his sides victory over Boxted. Duncan Walton of Galleywood took the only fivefor of the weekend, taking 5 for 26 against Harwich & Dovercourt.

Read more: Week 21 - September 3

A glorious Bank Holiday weekend in terms of sunshine and temperatures, saw the first silverware of the season claimed. On Sunday in the forty over competition, Braintree were crowned Division Four champions, albeit in rather farcical fashion as Great Braxted & Tiptree conceded at the ground ! On Monday an excellent days T20 and superb hospitality from Colchester & E.E, saw Wivenhoe crowned as NECL T20 champions for 2017. Castle Park also witnessed a run fest on Sunday, where Frinton kept the Division One title hopes alive by chasing down 299 for 8 against Colchester, it was the third biggest run chase since 1989. In Division Two, it is now a two horse race for the title after Chappel & Wakes Colne defeated ten man Halstead – Chappel will be hoping Halstead can defeat Copdock next week, and limit them to less than five points, while they win their remaining games. There was an excellent effort by eight man Stebbing, who went down by 61 runs chasing Ardleigh’s 233 for 3. While Great Totham were beneficiaries this week of a Gosfield concession. In Division Three, there was just the one game in mid table, where West Bergholt defeated Kelvedon by 7 wickets.
Individually, there were three centuries, not surprisingly in a game boasting 600 runs two centuries came at Castle Park, as Feroze Ahmed (156) of Colchester and Kemar Smith (146) of Frinton, scored the bulk of their sides totals. Ardleigh’s Kurt Lamont (119no) was the other centurion.

Read more: Week 20 - August 27 & 28