North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 22 - September 10

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.

Division One
Mistley were perhaps overly ruthless against a struggling nine man Great Horkesley & Lexden, to climb up to fourth spot. The one thing that went for the Saxons was that they won the toss and batted first. Anthony Shearman and Rauf Maan, probably one of the oldest opening partnerships in the league, put 41 on for the first wicket before Maan (21) was dismissed. Alistair Manhire (21) and David Taylor (24) gave Shearman good support, as they reached 111 for 3, with Shearman (52) third man out just after completing his half century. George Hutton claimed his wicket on his way to best figures of 4 for 58. Robin Seller (20) and skipper Graeson Laitt (14) also reached double figures as the visitors were bowled out in the 27th over for 180. Mistley then chased down the total in just 12.5 overs, as Daniel Goff (41) and Jarryd Walsh (48) set them on their way with an opening stand of 86. James Stamatis (75no from just 20 balls) then completed the mauling, with Tom Young (15no) the other unbeaten batsmen in an eight wicket victory.

Clacton completed a third straight top flight victory with a four wicket win over bottom of the table Eight Ash Green. Openers Richard Nunn (20) and Matt Parker (a gritty 23 from 73 balls) both got starts for ten man Green, this despite an economic opening spell from Matthew O’Brien (0 for 6 from 5). However, the result of the match was effectively decided by the bowling spell of Clacton skipper Bradley Pitts (5 for 30) who decimated the top order. Andrew Woodhouse (50) battled valiantly in the lower order to get Eight Ash Green up to their total of 123 in 32 overs. In reply, Clacton made steady progress at the beginning of the innings from Kieron Parkes (32) and Daniel Smith (20), and despite regular wickets falling were able to reach the target with four wickets and fourteen overs to spare. Haydn Erfuth (24no) and O’Brien (17) also reaching double figures in the Clacton reply. Richard Nunn (2 for 21) and Matthew Murray (2 for 37) picked a pair of wickets each for the Green.

Frinton picked up their 20 points on Saturday, when Elmstead conceded for the second time in three weeks to them. Elmstead slip a final placing of fifth in the Division, while Frinton will be looking to retain their title as they host current leaders Wivenhoe on 24th September in a title showdown.

Division Two
Witham finished the season with a fifth straight win, with a 75 run victory over relegated Stebbing. Michael Headley (91) and Michael Godwin (96) both missed out on centuries, but shared a first wicket stand of 188 to set Witham up for a big score. Ollie Cooke (41 from 32 balls) hit a rapid finale to the innings as Witham closed on 276 for 3. In reply, Witham were able to control the run chase, with Sarah Bendall (1 for 19 from 7) bowling a tight opening spell. Neil Bartlett (46), playing his first game of the campaign shared a second wicket stand of 76 with Stephen Heywood. After, Bartlett’s dismissal Heywood (100no from 105 balls) dominated the rest of the innings as Stebbing reached 201 for 7, and maximum batting points. Carl Bragg (3 for 21) was the most successful of the Witham bowlers.

Division Three
Galleywood are champions of Division Three, but in the end had to work hard for the 20 points against relegated Cavaliers at Slades Lane. Three of the four batsmen used in the Galleywood innings all put in sizeable contributions, the one to fail was Paul Marlow (7). Andrew Reeve (54) struck a half century at the top of the order, before an unbeaten stand between Dan McIntyre (82no) and Ben Rayner (45no) saw Galleywood to their total of 211 for 2. Usman Ghani (1 for 32) and Bipin Prabu (1 for 44) were the wicket takers for the Cavs. In reply, the visitors lost both openers cheaply to Clay Westwood (2 for 39) before healthy partnerships of 57 between Noman Jalib and Thamarai Janganan (14), and Jalib and Bipin Prabhu (50) of 81 in 16 overs saw the score reach 155 for 3. Jalib then found an ally in Prakash Kannan and the score reached 191 for 4, before Jalib was run out for a Cavaliers career best of 92. The Cavs then lost their last five wickets for 8 runs, Ghani absent having left early, and Kannan left stranded on 26no as Galleywood claimed the title with a 12 run success.

Kelvedon 77 for 3 (Pat Ahearne 47no) bt West Bergholt 76 by 7 wickets (20-1) – No result on Play-Cricket

Division Four
Coggeshall are up to second in Division Four, following their win by concession over wooden spoonists Great Horkesley & Lexden 2nds. They host champions Braintree next weekend looking for a win to claim the runners up spot.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Stephen Heywood 100 * Stebbing v. Witham

Bradley Pitts 5 -- 30 Clacton v. Eight Ash Green

NECL Performance of the Week
James Stamatis 75no off 20 balls Mistley v. Great Horkesley & Lexden
Bradley Pitts 5 for 30 Clacton v Eight Ash Greeen
Michael Headley (91) & Michael Godwin (96) – 188 1st wkt – Witham v. Stebbing
Stephen Heywood 100no Stebbing v. Witham

Next Week
Just five games scheduled for the penultimate week of the season, as Division Three and Division Four complete. In Division One, Wivenhoe will be looking for a win at Mistley before going into their final game at Frinton on 24th September. Eight Ash Green and Great Horkesley & Lexden meet at Fordham Heath, both sides looking for a win to ensure that they do not finish bottom of the table. In Division Three, the final game sees runners up Springfield make the trip to Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds. While in Division Four the scrap for the Runners Up spot will be keenly contested by current occupants Coggeshall in their game at home to Braintree, while third place Real Oddies will be ready to pounce on any slip ups as they travel to Great Braxted & Tiptree.