North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 17 - August 6

After heavy rain on Saturday, the sun did at least shine on Sunday. Unfortunately, two more games fell to concession with Gosfield conceding at Witham, and Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds conceding at home to Great Braxted & Tiptree. In Division One, Wivenhoe claimed their tenth win of the season with a seven wicket victory at home to Mistley. Colchester & East Essex were equally emphatic at Great Horkesley & Lexden with an eight wicket success. In Division Two there were big wins for leaders Copdock & OI at Stebbing by 102 runs, and by Great Totham at Ardleigh by 188 runs. Division Three leaders Springfield met West Bergholt for the second time in a week and completed the double. At the bottom of the division there was a rare victory for Harwich & Dovercourt, winning by 56 runs over Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds, while Kelvedon were big winners at Cavaliers. The only game in Division Four saw Braintree strengthen their position at the top without having to take the field, as second placed Real Oddies were defeated by six wickets at Tendring. Wivenhoe did suffer their first NECL defeat of the season on Thursday, when Colchester & E.E. defeated them in convincing manner in the final T20 group game.
Not surprisingly the bowlers were largely on top over the weekend, with just the one century compiled by Copdock’s Archie Wilkinson who posted 120 against Stebbing. Will Wilton-Steer claimed the only five wicket performance with 5 for 20 for Kelvedon against Cavaliers, while there were four wicket performances from Harwich’s Harvey Bennett (4 for 12), Tendring’s young Luke Jenno (4 for 47) and Cavaliers Salman Riaz (4 for 54).

Division One
Wivenhoe stayed on course for an unbeaten season with a seven wicket win at home to Mistley, to make it ten out of ten. The highlight of the Mistley innings was a second wicket stand of 62 between Owen Clover (24) and Tim Scott (45), with no other batsmen topping twenty. Louis Homewood (3 for 21) and James Sparling (2 for 16) were the most successful of the home bowlers at Mistley were bowled out at the beginning of the 38th over for 139. A half century opening stand between Jakob Kelly (31) and Homewood (32) set Wivenhoe on their way to a comfortable victory. Liam Holyman (51no) and Michael Pulford (23) then finished the job with a third wicket stand of 68,with Pulford departing just short of the target.

There was only 40 overs of cricket as Colchester & E.E raced to victory at Great Horkesley & Lexden. Batting first the Saxons were bowled out for 109 in just under 24 overs, of which Kevin Saunders (41) and Naveed Maan (26) were the only batsmen to top twenty. All five of the Colchester bowlers claimed wickets, with Krishi Verma (3 for 17) the most successful. There was also a brace of wickets each for Joe Gooch (2 for 29) and Henry Hebron (2 for 16). Hebron (9) and Bill Ince (27) put on 40 for the first wicket for the visitors, before both departed on the same score. Thereafter, Columbus Everett (26no) and Charlie Fernandes (42no) combined for an unbeaten third wicket stand of 72 to see the visitors to victory in 16.2 overs.

Division Two
A commanding century from Archie Wilkinson proved to be the difference between leaders Copdock & OI and bottom of the table Stebbing in their encounter. Wilkinson plundered a massive 120, which included 9 fours and 9 sixes in the Copdock total of 262 for 8. Nick Meakin (33no) enjoyed some late order fun, his innings including three fours and two sixes. O’Connor was the pick of the Stebbing bowlers with 3 for 53, while there were two wickets each for Graeme Dewar (2 for 56) and Jason Gallian (2 for 31). In reply, Stebbing were always behind the required rate eventually being restricted to 160 for 5, Johnson (46no), Graeme Dewar (35) and Tom Gallian (24) the only players to score runs of note. Ashwin Bhatt (3 for 20 from 9) bowled a miserly spell at the beginning of the Stebbing innings and was the stand out performer with the ball for the league leaders. (play-Cricket still to be uploade for this game) 

Great Totham crushed their hosts Ardleigh at the Recreation Ground. Batting first a half century from Rob Hewer (54) at the top of the order set Totham on their way, after Graham Cole (2 for 40) had taken two early wickets. Harry Cooper (67) and Josh Chadwick (51) also posted half centuries in the middle order, but with two wickets a piece for Joe Bland (2 for 53) and Olly Wright (2 for 2) the visitors were bowled out with one ball left of their innings for 237. Ardleigh were soon under the cosh in reply, as Will Simpson (2 for 9 from 9) and George Baron (3 for 23 from 9) removed the top order, with only Olly Wright (11) reaching double figures. Ed Johnson (3 for 11) and Dan Quartermaine (2 for 5) then completed the rout as Ardleigh were bowled out for 49.

Ominous signs for Gosfield as they conceded their fifth game of the season which saw a further ten points deducted. Witham were the beneficiaries this week. A meeting between club officials has been called to discuss their future participation in the competition.

Division Three
A valuable seventh wicket stand of 61 between Charlie Prudence and skipper Paul Durrant ensured a competitive total for Springfield on their trip to West Bergholt. The visitors were in trouble at 99 for 6, with Gareth Luxton (2 for 7 from 8) making the most of a receptive wicket. Prudence (74) showed class by accumulating a combative score, and received invaluable support from Durrant (16no) as Springfield closed on 160 for 7. In reply, Bergholt lost early wickets to Alan Warley (2 for 39) and Noah Pothen (3 for 18), before Andrew Mehen (25) and James Banks (41) developed a sixth wicket stand of 40 to take the score to 91 for 6. The wicket of Mehen to Martin Southall (3 for 26), instigated the final rights of the game as Tony Ashurst weighed in with 2 for 16 and Bergholt were dismissed were bowled out for 115 in 27.1 overs.

Cavaliers hopes of closing the gap on Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds were dealt a blow by a rampant Kelvedon at the Rugby Club. Half centuries at the top of the order from Lee Scott (78), Pat Ahearne (53) and Ed King (66) set Kelvedon on course for a big score. Scott and King combining for a second wicket stand of 130. Cavaliers did battle back, largely through the efforts of Salman Riaz (4 for 54), but with Josh Bibby (30no) wrapping up the innings the visitors closed at 267 for 8. In reply, there were good knocks from Imran Nasir (33 from 44) and Bipin Prabhu (30), but no one else topped twenty as the Cavs were bowled out for 118 in 22 overs. Will Wilton-Steer (5 for 24) and Nick Claus (3 for 41) were the significant performers with the ball for Kelvedon.

Harwich & Dovercourt’s faint hopes of avoiding the drop received an unexpected boost when they defeated Chappel & Wakes Colne 2nds, the side directly above the drop zone. The bowlers were on top in this game, as batting first Harwich were bowled out for a middling 135, of which Harry Windred (37) and Nev Mathur (29) top scored. Ben Jackson (3 for 17 from 7) was the pick of the Chappel bowlers, but there were two wickets each for Zac Taylor (2 for 17), Josh Wright (2 for 26) and Harry Bryant (2 for 31). In reply Chappel, found run scoring more difficult as they were bowled out in the 30th over for 79. Jake Fordham (22) and Zac Taylor (13) were the only players into double figures, as a good all round bowling performance by the four Harwich bowlers stemmed the runs. Harvey Bennett (4 for 12) was the best, but Jamie King (3 for 24) at the beginning of the innings, supported by Tom Humphris (1 for 24 from 9) put the home side under early pressure. Nev Mathur (2 for 12) was the other wicket taker.

Division Four
Braintree’s odds of becoming Division Four champions were dramatically shortened as their closest rivals Real Oddies went down by six wickets to lowly Tendring. With only ten men, Oddies took first knock and seemed to be putting a good total together with the top three batsmen all making starts. Openers Pete Pearson (26) and Mukesh Kumar (36) got the innings off to a good start, before Scott Rees added a fluent 42, which included six fours and a six. The complexion of the innings changed with the introduction of economy from Jonathan Bickers (1 for 25 from 9) and wicket taking from young Luke Jenno (4 for 47) as the Oddies were bowled out for 151 in the 37th over. In reply a miserly spell from Pearson (1 for 10 from 9) and two wickets for Rees (2 for 42) reduced Tendring to 35 for 3, of which Jamie Warner (23) contributed most, to put the Oddies in the ascendancy. Colin Day (40no) was then joined by an aggressive Joe Robinson (45 from 46) and the pair put on effectively a match winning stand of 87. Robinson perished to a caught and bowled late in the reply, leaving Day to guide Tendring home, aided by a generous 40 extras.

Great Horkesley & Lexden 2nd are virtually assured a claiming their second successive wooden spoon following their third concession of the season, this time at home to Great Braxted & Tiptree, which resulted in a further ten point deduction.

T20 – East – August 4
Wivenhoe suffered their first NECL defeat of the season on Thursday evening in the last T20 Group match at Colchester & E.E. Wivenhoe were bowled out for 78, Colchester then cruised to a nine wicket success. Play-Cricket has not been uploaded for this game so no further detail available.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Archie Wilkinson 120 Copdock & OI v. Stebbing

Will Wilton-Steer 5 -- 24 Kelvedon v. Cavaliers

NECL Performance of the Week Nominations
Archie Wilkinson 120 Copdock & OI v. Stebbing
Charlie Prudence 74 Springfield v. West Bergholt
Will Wilton-Steer 5-24 Kelvedon v. Cavaliers
Harvey Bennett 4-12 Harwich & D v. Chappel &Wakes Colne 2nd

Next Week
A fairly full programme of matches for next Sunday, hopefully not too disrupted by the impending deluge about to hit the area today. In Division One, leaders Wivenhoe host third placed Elmstead in the top match of the day. Second placed Frinton are at home to Great Horkesley & Lexden, while Mistley welcome Colchester & E.E. to New Road. In Division Two, leaders Copdock & OI will be very short priced favourites to continue their winning run at home to Ardleigh. Second placed Halstead travel to Witham, while third placed Chappel & Wakes Colne make the trip to Great Totham. In Division Three, the leaders Springfield have a week off, so Galleywood could close the gap with a win at home to third placed Kelvedon. Harwich will be looking to make it two successive wins as they host Abberton, while Chappel & Wakes Colne second string welcome West Bergholt to The Hobbies. In Division Four, leaders Braintree should put one hand on the Division Four trophy at home to Tendring. Second placed Real Oddies must win at Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds to have any chance of chasing Braintree down, while Coggeshall welcome Great Braxted & Tiptree to Harefield in a match re-arranged from earlier in the season.