North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 16 - July 30

Plenty of the wet stuff about over the weekend, but thankfully only one of the scheduled thirteen matches was called off, and that was down to a concession.
Wivenhoe continued their unbeaten run with a ninth straight win in the top flight, not even the disruption of a lion, could knock them off their seemingly processional run to the title. Wivenhoe’s title odds have also been shortened by the fact that second placed Elmstead were defeated at home by Mistley, an unbeaten century from Daniel Goff proving decisive. Clacton are out of the relegation places with a close fought victory over Great Horkesley & Lexden who drop into the bottom two. In Division Two, there were comfortable wins for the top three, Copdock’s Harry Bailey (108no and 4 for 31) starred in their six wicket victory over Great Totham. Second placed Halstead were six wicket winners at home to Ardleigh, while third placed Chappel & Wakes Colne banked the points on Saturday when opponents Gosfield conceded. In Division Three, leaders Springfield edged a low scoring game at Coronation Park, winning by three wickets over West Bergholt. Galleywood have put more distance between them and Abberton, with a 35 run victory at The Brow. Elsewhere wins for Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds over Cavaliers, and Kelvedon over Harwich & Dovercourt, have virtually consigned the bottom two to the drop. In Division Four, second placed Real Oddies inflicted a heavy defeat on third place Coggeshall, skittling the Cockerels for just 56. In the other game Boxted got the better of nine man Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds by 17 runs. The T20 group stage is coming to an end, with the final quartet now known. Little Bardfield Village’s six wicket victory over Braintree, saw Kelvedon qualify as second placed team. The final group game takes place this week with Colchester & E.E. welcoming Wivenhoe. The likely semi final line up on Bank Holiday Monday at Castle Park, barring a heavy Wivenhoe defeat on Thursday, is now Wivenhoe v Kelvedon, and Little Bardfield Village v Mistley, the order of play still to be decided.
Individually, there were two centurions, Daniel Goff (118no) of Mistley, Harry Bailey (108no) of Copdock & OI, while Galleywood’s Dan McIntyre (96) was a boundary short. There were also three five fors, with Ian Catley breaking the T20 individual bowling record with a spell of 6 for 16 for Little bardfield Village against Braintree. Real Oddies, Malien Mudalige claimed 5 for 19 as Coggeshall were dismantled, while Cameron Sprott of Colchester & East Essex took 5 for 18 in their T20 defeat at the hands of Mistley on Thursday. Three all round performances were worthy of note, Harry Bailey of Copdock backed his century up with a bowling spell of 4 for 31, Clacton’s Kieron Parkes scored 67 and took 4 for 37 in his teams win, while Wivenhoe’s Jakob Kelly scored an important 41 before taking 4 for 14.

Division One

Lion stops play (just take a look at the CEE facebook page) – unbelievable headline from Castle Park – was it too much cider and beer at the beer festival, no, just a random person in a lion outfit ambling across the pitch. However, lion or not it seems that nothing is going to disrupt Wivenhoe’s march to the Division One title. In a game reduced to thirty overs per side, Wivenhoe were inserted and were quickly in trouble with prolific opener Matt Durrell out for a duck, and when Liam Hope-Shackley departed cheaply for 14, the home side could have felt well in the game with the two Wivenhoe big guns back in the hutch. Ben Arulampalam had claimed both the prize wickets on his way to figures of 2 for 27. Recovery for the visitors came in an important fourth wicket stand between James Butcher (85no) and Jakob Kelly (41) as they eventually got up to 167 for 5. Sureshraj Anandraj (18) and Simon Fernandes (26) got the home side off to solid enough start, but once the breakthrough was made, the wickets clattered, with Butcher (3 for 14) and Kelly (4 for 14) backing up their batting exploits. Matt Durrell (2 for 33) also claimed a double as Colchester were bowled out in the 27th over for 99.

Wivenhoe’s title prospects were raised even more when news filtered through that second placed Elmstead had been beaten at home by Mistley. Elmstead batted first after winning the toss, and after the loss of three cheap wickets to Dylan Day (2 for 8 from 6) and Oliver Fifield (1 for 7 from 6). However, from there the home side made good progress through Ryan Vickery (69) and Matthew Sullivan (61). Andrew Prestney (24) added some useful runs as Elmstead closed at 189 for 8 from their 40 overs. Ashley Uren (3 for 34) ended the afternoon as the most successful bowler for the Swans. The reply was dominated by Daniel Goff (118no) who struck a masterful century. No other batsmen passed twenty, with Ashley Uren (18), Oliver Fifield (16) and Dylan Day (10) the only other players to reach double figures. For Elmstead there was a brace of wickets each for Zac Pushman (2 for 35) and Peter Webster (2 for 19) as Mistley got home with ten balls and four wickets in hand.

A good competitive relegation battle at Vista Road, saw the home side Clacton claim an 18 run win and climb out of the bottom two, at the expense of their visitors Great Horkesley & Lexden. Haydn Erfuth (59 from 59) got the Clacton innings off to a rapid start with a run a ball innings, in an opening stand of 83 with Kieron Parkes. Parkes (67) enjoyed solid stands with Daniel Smith (19) and Bradley Pitts (22), before being dismissed with the score on 172. Imran Sheikh (44 from 27 balls) added a final flourish, as Clacton closed at 234 for 5, with four of the wickets falling to Graeson ‘The Norwegian Blue’ Laitt (4 for 53 from 9). Omar Ahmed (54 from 20 balls) got the visitors off to an excellent start putting on 63 for the first wicket in six overs. Bradley Pitts (3 for 34 from 9) claimed the all important wicket of Ahmed with a return catch, and with Imran Sheikh (0 for 35 from 9) the run scoring was pegged back. Naveed Maan (54 from 52) kept the visitors alive in the game, before Kieron Parkes backed up his top score to claim 4 for 37 from 9 as the Saxons were dismissed for 216 with eleven balls to spare.

Division Two
Copdock & OI made fairly light work of a relatively challenging total set by ten man Great Totham to maintain their leadership of Division Two. Josh Chadwick (88) and John Chadwick (69) scored the majority of Totham’s total of 209 for 7, while Harry Bailey (4 for 31) and Olly Williams (2 for 49) claimed the wickets, Bailey having a hand in the run out for the seventh wicket. In reply, Copdock lost three cheap wickets before a fourth wicket stand between Scott Wootton (63) and Harry Bailey eased Copdock towards a six wicket victory with eight overs to spare. Wootton just failed to record red figures being dismissed shortly before the target was reached, but Bailey recorded an unbeaten 108, his second NECL century of the season in three innings, to back up his excellent bowling performance.

Halstead matched Copdock’s win to keep the Division Two title race on the boil, in a game that may have been in doubt due to the torrential overnight rain. Winning the toss after a delayed start to allow the pitch to dry, stand-in Halstead skipper Callum Hansey - deputising for the injured Adam Morris - put Ardleigh in to bat. Aaron Read (1-11) continued his fine Sunday form by dismissing Tim Harvey (2) early on. Ollie Wright (38) scored runs quickly as Ardleigh skipper Kurt Lamont (42) was the more watchful. Joe Morris (1-6) proved exceedingly difficult to get away - but for four overthrows there were 33 dot balls in his six overs - the pressure telling when he bowled Wright. Lamont was joined by Chris Chandler (18) and the pair frustrated the Halstead attack before Sam Walter trapped the latter lbw. The reintroduction of Ben Roper and Hansey brought immediate dividends. A smart catch from Taylor Nicholson brought Lamont's 107 ball vigil to an end, Roper claiming his second with an excellent return catch from Kevin Sage (7). Hansey took two wickets, bowling Hobbs (6) and having Wright caught at cow corner by Roper, with the visitors finishing on 130-7 from their allotted forty. Harry Pritchard (60 from 38 ball) and Sam Hawes (21) set about the chase quickly, the former making the most of being dropped in single figures by hitting his next two deliveries to the midwicket boundary. Hawes would find himself trapped LBW by Graham Cole, with Taylor Nicholson (18) joining Pritchard at the crease, the opener soon passing his fifty with a dab to third man. Kurt Lamont brought himself on and immediately had rewards with both Pritchard - caught behind by Tim Harvey - and Nicholson - bowled - falling to him. There was time for Charles Mallett (0) to be trapped lbw by Weatherill, but Joe Morris (18*) - who survived an early caught and bowled chance to Weatherill - and Aaron Read (8*) saw Halstead home inside 19 overs, to give stand-in skipper Hansey a first win as captain at the seventh time of asking.

Chappel & Wakes Colne had the afternoon off after their opponents Gosfield conceded on Saturday. It was Gosfield’s fourth concession of the season, and so a further ten points were deducted, leaving them seriously threatened by relegation.

Division Three
Division Three leaders Springfield were made to work hard for the twenty points on a rain affected wicket at Coronation Park against West Bergholt. The visitors were largely on top with the bat, whilst Dan Wheeler (76) and Chintesh Patel (34) were at the wicket. However, a clinical bowling spell from Martin Southwell (4 for 14), after Paul Aldworth (3 for 45) and Tony Ashurst (2 for 8) had removed the main run scorers saw the visitors bowled out for 158 with six of their overs not used. In reply, the top seven for Springfield all got into double figures, but with no one scoring more than Luke Southwell (35) and Ollie Prudence (25) they were made to grind out a three wicket victory. Matt Rogers (2 for 21 from 9) bowled tidily, while Owen Jones (2 for 16) also claimed a brace. Springfield finally reached their target with Alan Warley hitting a four over the bowlers head, with two overs remaining, leaving Bergholt to rue their late order collapse.

It was a must win game for Abberton if they were to close the gap on the top two, and it was not the best of starts for second placed Galleywood, as Andy Trussler (3 for 13 from 9) sent three of their top four batsmen back to the pavilion with a duck to their name. Dan McIntyre, weathered the early barrage and with support from Ed Laidler (26) and Martyn Gray (25) hauled the visitors back into the game. McIntyre (96) was unlucky not to complete a century and with Connor Oldrey (3 for 48) amongst the wickets at the end of the innings the visitors closed at 185 for 7. The Galleywood bowling unit kept the pressure on from the start with steady bowling from Zack Hicks (2 for 25 from 9), Clay Westwood (2 for 30 from 9) and Tom Moss (2 for 34 from 9) ensuring that run scoring was at a premium in the run chase, as well as taking regular wickets. Will House (55) top scored for the Lions, with opener Ryan Brooks (26) the next best score as the home side fell 35 runs short being constrained to 150 for 8.

A bad day at the office for Cavaliers saw them pick up the dreaded nil pointer, and what made it worse was the fact that the side beating them were the team directly above them and the relegation zone, Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds. A disappointing batting effort for Cavaliers saw only three batsmen into double figures, with Raheel Akhlaq (13) the top score. A generous number of no balls and wides (20) raised the Cavaliers total to 91 all out in the 28th over. Rebeeca Wilson (2 for 11 from 6), William Brown (2 for 15 from 5) and Ben Jackson (3 for 8) were the significant wicket takers. In reply, Cavaliers took a solitary wicket with the score on 5, the pick of their bowlers Raouf Rasheed (1 for 24 from 9) claiming the wicket. Thereafter, David Maytham (38no) and Jake Fordham (46no) put on an unbeaten second wicket stand of 88 to see Chappel to a nine wicket success at the beginning of the 27th over.

Harwich & Dovercourt are running out of matches to save themselves from relegation to Division Four. Another defeat on Sunday, means that they virtually have to win all three remaining games and hope for results to go their way to avoid the drop. After putting Kelvedon into bat they would have been fairly content at tea, having restricted the visitors to 152 for 9, of which Ryan Sleet (23) top scored. Mick Warner (22) and Will Wilton-Steer (20) were the only other Kelvedon batsmen to reach double figures. Sleet (2 for 28) then helped to reduce the Harwich reply to four down with not many on the board. Ryan Mallows (33) and Jamie King (32) then developed a fifth wicket stand that appeared to be giving the home side the advantage. Ed King, an inspired seventh change bowler, removed both on his way to match winning figures of 4 for 7, and with Thata Tshose returning to finish with figures of 3 for 9 from 8 overs the home side were bowled out 13 runs short with 10 balls to spare.

Division Four
Real Oddies significantly shortened their odds of promotion by beating third placed Coggeshall in convincing manner at the Garrison. Batting first Coggeshall struggled with opening spells from Pete Pearson (2 for 11 from 9) and Lee Cooper (0 for 17 from 6). Only Lorcan McCabe (22) and Kane Addison (25) reached double figures, as change bowler Malien Mudalige (5 for 19 from 9) reaped havoc in the middle order. Lasantha Boadaragama (1 for 7 from 7) backed up Mudalige, before Mike Miller claimed 2 for 2 from 5 balls to see Coggeshall shot out for 56. In reply, Oddies lost three wickets to Kane Addison (3 for 18) to slip to 23 for 3. Thereafter, Craig Watts (27no) and Bodaragama (19) made light work of the chase as Oddies reached their target at the beginning of the 10th over. Bodaragama was dismissed with the scores level, to give Oddies a six wicket success.

Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds were left ruing the fact that they only had nine men in a 17 run defeat at home to Boxted. In a game reduced to 35 overs per side, Boxted were in some trouble having lost their main batsmen Steve Philpott and Richard Springett relatively cheaply, and were four down for not many. Harish Mahadevappa (2 for 20) on debut and Toby Nickell-Lean causing the early problems for the visitors. Kye Hayden (56no) then contributed a match winning half century, and with support from Michael Dell (15), Matthew Francis (16) and Prakesh Day (12no) got the score up to 152 for 7. Nickell-Lean ending his eight over stint with excellent figures of 4 for 23, while Jerry Morgan claimed four catches at the wicket. In reply, Michael Dell (1 for 19 from 8) and Matthew Wilson (2 for 20 from 6) put the Saxons under early pressure, before Robin Seller (26) and Mahadevappa built a partnership that seemed to be giving the home side the advantage. Sylvester McKnight then returned a decisive spell of 3 for 8, including the wicket of Mahadevappa (40) to see Great Horkesley & Lexden bowled out for 135 with still 5 overs of their allotted 35 remaining.

T20 – West
Little Bardfield Village are into their second T20 Finals Day after defeating Braintree by six wickets. The win for the Village was also celebrated by Kelvedon, who make their first Finals Day as the group runner up, with Braintree missing out. Daniel Garner (46) and Daniel Chalk (32) had appeared to put the Dolphins on course for a competitive total at 98 for 2, with a third wicket stand of 59. However, Ian Catley then entered the fray and returned a T20 record bowling analysis of 6 for 16 from his four overs to see Braintree restricted to 122 for 9. Matt Graham had also bowled a tidy four over spell to return 4 for 14. In reply, LBV cruised to victory with 29 balls in hand, Daryl Hymas (36) out of an opening stand of 49 with Ed Hitchcock, and Matt Graham (32no, including three sixes) the top scorers. Hitchcock (17) and Catley (17) providing supporting roles. For Braintree Calley Foyster (2 for 20) was the most successful bowler, although Robbie Spalding (1 for 18 from 4)

T20 – East
In what was effectively a quarter final, Mistley reached the T20 Finals Day on Thursday, at the expense of their hosts Colchester & East Essex. Batting first, the Swans were in trouble at 53 for 6, of which George Hutton (19) and Mark Vickers (13) were the only players into double figures. A seventh wicket stand of 70, between Oliver Fifield (40no) and Bruce Leeke (29) rescued the innings, although Cameron Sprott’s bowling spell of 5 for 18 ensured that Mistley did not see out their overs, bowled out at the end of the eighteenth over for 140. The Mistley bowlers were then on top throughout the reply, beginning with Jack Fifield’s opening spell that returned 2 for 14 from his 4 overs. Jake Foley (22) and Fin O’Reilly (19) were the top scorers as Colchester were bowled out in 19th over for 109. Oliver Fifield backing up his batting performance with a bowling spell of 3 for 14 from 4 overs.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Daniel Goff 118 * Mistley v. Elmstead
Harry Bailey 108 * Copdock & OI v. Great Totham

Ian Catley 6 -- 16 Little Bardfield Village v. Braintree
Malien Mudalige 5 -- 19 Real Oddies v. Coggeshall
Cameron Sprott 5 -- 18 Colchester & E.E v. Mistley

Performance of the Week
Daniel Goff 118* Mistley v Elmstead
Harry Bailey 108* & 4 for 31 Copdock v. Great Totham
Malien Mudalige 5 for 19 Real Oddies v. Coggeshall
Ian Catley 6 for 16 Little Bardfield Village v Braintree (new T20 record)

Next Week

The T20 group stage comes to an end on Thursday evening as Colchester & E.E welcome Wivenhoe to Castle Park, a game that barring a heavy Wivenhoe defeat will confirm them as group winners. On Sunday, Division One leaders Wivenhoe will look to make it ten wins as they host Mistley, while Colchester & E.E make the short trip to Mile End to take on Great Horkesley & Lexden. In Division Two, it is a long trip for the leaders Copdock & OI as they go to Stebbing, while elsewhere Ardleigh welcome Great Totham, and Gosfield will be hoping to a raise a side for the trip to Witham. In Division Three, it is a quick reverse fixture for Springfield and West Bergholt as they meet again this week at Bergholt. Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds can all but secure their Division Three status if they defeat Harwich & Dovercourt at home, while Cavaliers are getting to the stage of ‘must win’ games to avoid the drop as they host Kelvedon. In Division Four, second placed Real Oddies will be looking for 20 points as they travel to lowly Tendring. Bottom side Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds welcome Great Braxted & Tiptree to Mile End.