Weekly Round-Up

Week 21 - September 3

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.

Division One
It was ten against nine as bottom of the table Eight Ash Green took on title chasing Frinton at Fordham Heath, with the nine men from Frinton prevailing. Batting first three, of the Green got to double figures, scoring the majority of the total. Opener Richard Nunn (36), his brother Steve Nunn (27no) batting as last man, while top scorer was Jens Wair (46no) as the Green posted 159 for 8. Edward Ball (2 for 18) and Harry Nightingale (2 for 29) both picked up a pair of wickets, while Lewis Catlow (1 for 19 from 9) bowled an economic spell. Frinton openers Josh Frame (28) and Kemar Smith (36) gave the visitors a rapid start, which was maintained by Dominic Stockdale (53) and Harry Nightingale (14no) as Frinton got to the target in just 17 overs, for the loss of five wickets.
Will Spicer (2 for 34) and debutant Shelford Meads (2 for 44) were the principal wicket takers for the home side.

The NECL weekend began on Friday evening, with Colchester & East Essex taking on Elmstead in a scheduled twenty over per side game at Castle Park. Unfortunately, inclement weather and poor light meant that the game had to be further reduced to fifteen overs per side. Half centuries a piece for Colchester openers Jack Hebron (51) and Joe Laver (50) proved decisive, the pair putting on an opening stand of 78. Simon Fernandes (22no) hit an unbeaten knock at the end of the innings as Colchester closed at 132 for 3. In reply, Ryan Vickery (33 out of 44 from 14 balls) gave Elmstead the perfect start, which was backed up by Dan White (34). However, the Colchester bowlers got the game back under control with Greg Stephens (2 for 25 from 4), Henry Hebron (2 for 23 from 4) and Ollie Lovejoy (2 for 16) limiting the visitors to 116 for 8.

A reversal of fortunes for Elmstead and Colchester & E.E. on Sunday, saw Elmstead claim the points following a Great Horkesley & Lexden concession, while Colchester & E.E. were surprisingly usurped in their final game at Clacton.

Batting first after winning the toss, Colchester & E.E were reduced to 8 for 3 at Vista Road, as Matt Illsley (2) and Harry Spence (1) made the early inroads. Recovery came from Andrew Kennedy (51) in a fourth wicket stand of 85 with Richard Haines. After Kennedy’s departure, a couple of quick wicket saw the visitors languishing again at 106 for 6. Haines (87) then found a willing partner in Thomas Brougham (35) the pair putting on 93 for the seventh wicket to lift Colchester to 210 all out in the final over. Haydn Erfuth (3 for 33) the most successful of the Clacton bowlers. Erfuth (81no) then played a significant role in the run chase, with a third wicket stand of 149 with Keiron Parkes (96) who was unlucky not to reach three figures falling just short of the winning target as Clacton won by 7 wickets. Erfuth becoming the third batsmen in Division One this season to pass 500 runs during his innings.

Division Two
Copdock & OI are Division Two champions following a five wicket success over third placed Halstead. For the second week running the Star Stile outfit could only muster ten men, but put in a better effort than last week’s fixture. Joe Morris (34) put in a useful knock at the top of the order, before Ed Clark (72) top scored in the Halstead total of 164 all out. All five Copdock bowlers claimed wickets with Fergus Atkins (3 for 23 from 9) the best, as the home side claimed the five points needed to claim the title. However, the Copdock reply stuttered as they were reduced to 17 for 3 as Callum Hansey (2 for 27) and Sam Johnson (1 for 19) bowled good early spells. That became 53 for 4, before a match winning fifth wicket stand of 109 between Alex Oxley (84no) and Dan Leggett (42) saw Copdock to their 12th victory of the season.

Chappel & WC have had plenty of close finishes this season, and were on the receiving end of a close outcome this week. Witham ended Halstead’s title hopes a couple weeks ago, and although the result was academic following the Copdock win, did likewise to Chappel this week. Michael Headley (43) and Michael Godwin (29) put on a solid half century opening stand. However, from a promising position of 153 for 4, they slumped to 176 all out with only Carl Bragg (46) passing twenty. Nigel Swain (3 for 24) and Sam King (3 for 48) were the significant wicket takers, while Henry Dow (2 for 41) and Harry Carter (2 for 21 from 8, including his 30th NECL wicket of the campaign) provided the back up. In reply, most of the Chappel batsmen got starts but were unable to capitalise as Witham nicked vital wickets at the right time. Top scorer for the hosts was pinch hitter Ross Wyatt (48), while there were good middle order knocks from Henry Dow (29), Zac Taylor (26) and Tristan Moseley (25). Carl Bragg backed up his batting exploits with the best bowling figures of 3 for 22, while Sarah Bendall returned respectable figures at the start of the innings of 2 for 13 from 7. Chappel were restricted to 172 for 9 from their 40 overs, and defeat by four runs, they nevertheless claimed the runners up spot in the Division.

Stebbing scored a rare victory without having to take the field as opponents Gosfield conceded their final game. Stebbing have one game remaining against Witham next week, but their fate is already decided and they are relegated.

Division Three
Galleywood are closing in on the Division Three title, and put in another accomplished performance at bottom of the table Harwich. Batting first the Chelmsford side, the top order all made useful contributions with Paul Marlow (70) and Ben Rayner (71) both compiling half centuries. Luke Hammett (2 for 54) was the best return for Harwich as Galleywood finished their 40 overs on 229 for 6. In reply, only one Harwich player reached double figures in their score of 120, although it was a fine knock in the context of the innings as Lee Davis scored 73. Zac Hick (1 for 8 from 6) and Clay Westwood (3 for 23 from 9) bowled tightly at the beginning of the innings, before Duncan Walton (5 for 26) made fairly light work of the tail.

Unfortunately, unable to report on the highest score of the season as result has not been uploaded to Play-Cricket. Kelvedon posted 368 for 4 of which Ed King (105), Ollie Parsons (113) and Pat Ahearn (94no) all scored heavily before dismissing Chappel & WC 2nd for 123.

West Bergholt won a tight encounter at home to Cavaliers to remain fourth. Batting first Cavaliers struggled with some useful Bergholt bowling in the early stages as Owen Jones (2 for 24 from 5) and Lee Parish (2 for 24 from 9) helped reduce them to 55 for 5, with Raheel Akhlaq (22) and Noman Jalib (15) the only players into double figures. Dan Wheeler (3 for 17 from 7) then made significant inroads into the middle order, before a ninth wicket stand of 34 between Jarran Samwell, a career best (26 from 22 balls) and Kashan Jalib lifted the score past the 100 mark. James Aldridge (2 for 14) nipped out two late wickets as Cavaliers were dismissed for 110. Neville Davidson claimed the wickets of danger men Matt Rogers and Dan Wheeler in his first and second overs to give the Cavs some early hope. However, that was changed by a third wicket stand between Chris Southernwood (39), taking a particular liking to Usman Ghani (0 for 32 off 3) and Tom Wilkinson. Salman Riaz (2 for 19 from 9) made the breakthrough to claim the wicket of Southernwood. Ghani then switched ends and bowled an excellent second spell of 4 for 6 from 6, to leave him with match figures of 4 for 38 from 9, to set up a gripping finale. However, with the mainline bowlers out of the attack, Tom Wilkinson (40no) was able to guide his side to a two wicket success with plenty of overs in hand.

Division Four
Coggeshall strengthened their claims on third place in the Division, with a 69 run win over fourth placed Boxted. They were indebted to a big fifth wicket stand between Louis Gibson and Kane Addison, after being reduced to four for not many by Gary Percival (2 for 34) and Charlie Harris. Gibson compiled his third NECL century of the campaign recording 105, while Addison played a good supporting knock with 89. The Cockerels closed at 247 for 6. Sam Lines (46, including 5 fours and 3 sixes) made a rapid start to the Boxted reply. However, once Josh Morton (3 for 12) had claimed his wicket, the bowlers took charge of the game. Coggeshall skipper Addison was afforded the luxury of using all ten outfield bowlers to bowl, as Boxted were restricted to 178 for 9. Sam Smith (3 for 21) and Addison (2 for 11) the most successful of the rest of the bowlers, while Gary Percival (65) backed up his bowling performance with a half century

It was a bleak Sunday for Great Horkesley & Lexden with only eight players available for their two games, and consequently their second eleven game was called off early at champions Braintree. The Dolphins with one game to go have unfortunately in their first season back in the league seen no less than five of their games conceded by the opposition.

Tendring were another side twiddling their thumbs on Sunday, as Great Braxted & Tiptree became the latest club in the competition to concede three matches this season. Ironically, an attempt to re-schedule the reverse fixture from May 28th which Tendring originally conceded has not come to fruition, meaning that the game is now confirmed as a Tendring concession.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Ollie Parsons 113 Kelvedon v. Chappel & WC 2nd
Ed King 105 Kelvedon v. Chappel & WC 2nd
Louis Gibson 105 Coggeshall v. Boxted

Duncan Walton 5 -- 26 Galleywood v. Harwich & Dovercourt

NECL Performance of the Week
Ed King 105 Kelvedon v. Chappel & WC 2nd
Ollie Parsons 113 Kelvedon v. Chappel & WC 2nd
Duncan Walton 5 for 26 Galleywood v. Harwich & Dovercourt
Louis Gibson 105 Coggeshall v. Boxted

Next Week
If the current forecast for Sunday is to believed then I am afraid it looks as though it could be a washout, but ever the hopeful here is what is on the schedule.
In Division One, Frinton will be looking to set up a championship showdown with Wivenhoe at the end of the month with a win at home to Elmstead. The visitors themselves can claim third if they upset the Frinton bandwagon. Elsewhere, Mistley welcome Great Horkelsey & Lexden, while Eight Ash Green host Clacton, a win for the hosts could lift them off the foot of the table. The final game in Division Two sees relegated Stebbing welcome fourth placed Witham. In Division Three, Galleywood can seal the title with a win over Cavaliers, however, if it rains they will also be assured of the title. Kelvedon host West Bergholt with both sides vying for a final position of fourth. Only one game in Division Four, will see Coggeshall host wooden spoonists Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds.