North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 4 (May 13th) Durrell and Louw go big in Wivenhoe win

Heavy rain on Saturday afternoon, and throughout the evening saw the Sunday NECL Programme seriously threatened, despite the improving forecast on match day. However, out of the six matches scheduled it was just the two games in Division Two that were cancelled due to waterlogged pitches. Springfield with the six points for the cancellation move to the top of the division. In Division One, Wivenhoe bounced back emphatically from their defeat at Elmstead, with a 142 run win at Clacton. Matt Durrell and Brendan Louw both posting centuries in a mammoth Hoe total of 328 for 4. Three games in Division Three, saw Stebbing win their second game of the season, while favourites for honours Coggeshall and Kelvedon both opened up with tight away victories.

Division One
After a defeat to Elmstead a couple of weeks ago, Wivenhoe were in ruthless mood on Sunday with their trip to Clacton with a 142 run victory. Batting first the visitors lost an early wicket before Matt Durrell and Brendan Louw combined to put on 197 run parternship for the second wicket. Louw was the first to fall for 113, having completed his century from 79 balls which included 5 sixes and ten fours – including five consecutive fours in an over from Bradley Pitts. Jakob Kelly joined Durrell in a third wicket stand of 78, before Durrell was caught for a magnificent 145. Kelly (37) was fourth man out with the score on 328, while Wivenhoe skipper James Butcher had some red ink to his name with an unbeaten 22 from 12 balls. Ryan Chamberlain was the most economical of the Clacton bowlers returning 1 for 35 from 9, while there was some tap for Pitts (2 for 95 from 9) and Kieron Parkes (0 for 76 off 7). In reply, the target was a distant task for Clacton, and it was a matter of gleaning as many batting points as possible. Tom Sinclair (70) opened for the Seasiders and made a solid start with a second wicket stand of 74 with Dan Smith taking Clacton to 109 for 2 after 28 overs. Brad Pitts (20) and Harlan Greig (22no) supported Smith (45) as the home side got to 186 for 5, and collected four batting points. Michael Canavon was the most successful of the Wivenhoe bowlers with 2 for 16, while there were tidy spells from Jamie Barry (1 for 29 from 9) and Jackob Kelly (1 for 17 from 6).

Division Two
Both the scheduled games in Division Two, Braintree versus Witham and Great Totham versus Springfield were called off due to waterlogged pitches. Elsewhere, Chappel’s match with Halstead was postponed due to Chappel’s involvement in the National Village Cup.

Division Three
Stebbing are top of the Division Three tree, following their second win of the campaign, with a victory at Great Horkesley & Lexden. Winning the toss, Stebbing batted first and progressed serenely to 103 for 2, with Harry Gallian (47), Lauchlan Simpson (34) and Graham Bird (30) all putting in useful knocks at the top of the order. The Saxons did fight back reducing to Stebbing to 157 for 7, with the returning Jon Jones (2 for 35 from 9) probably the best of the bowlers. There were braces also from Graeson Laitt, Toby Nickell-Lean and Paul Hart, but some late order cameos, led by Graeme Dewar (20 from 14 balls) saw the visitors up to a total of 196 for 8. In reply, the home side were soon in trouble slipping to 16 for 3, as Chris Townsend (3 for 11 from 9) bowled a quality opening spell. Luachlan Simpson then capitalised with a spell of 4 for 21, as the Saxons innings unraveled to be bowled out for 98, with opener David Taylor the last man out for an excellent 66.

Kelvedon & Feering only had ten players for their trip to the Oddies, but edged out their hosts by five runs to claim an opening victory. Mukesh Kumar (3 for 31 from 9) bowled an excellent opening spell to reduce Kelvedon to 49 for 3, before Ed King and Alan Cookson (21) combined to put on a fourth wicket stand of 80. King was eventually fifth man out for a top score of 63, as the visitors closed on 156 for 5 from their 40 overs. The Kelvedon bowlers then kept the Oddies batsmen in control, with Will Wilton-Steer (2 for 28 from 9), Pat Ahearne (3 for 33 from 9) and King (2 for 16 from 7.1) the chief wicket takers. Although there was a wicket also for each of the other two bowlers, Ryan Sleet and Thomas Newman. With wickets falling regularly, the Oddies were reduced to 126 for 9, before a last wicket partnership between Scott Rees (41no) and Allan Tennant edged the home side towards the target. With six needed for an unlikely win from the last over, Tennant was run out off the first ball of the over by man of the match, King, to see Kelvedon victorious.

Coggeshall opened their campaign with an equally tight match at Boxted. The visitors were reduced to 68 for 4, with opener Ned Overbury (23) top scoring, before Ashley Blows (60no) and James Raine (52no) combined for an unbeaten fifth wicket stand of 100 to see the Cockerels reach tea at 168 for 4. There was a wicket each for Charlie Harris, Michael Dell, Andy Wilson and Kye Hayden. In reply, Boxted were reduced to 12 for 2, as Ben Speakman claimed early wickets on his way to 2 for 34 from 9. However, with veteran Paul Harris and Tom Crayston (19) combining for fifth wicket stand of 63 the home side were very much in the game. However, the complexion of the game changed as James Raine (4 for 16), and Louis Wotton (3 for 23) saw the last five wickets fall for nine runs, including the vital wicket of Harris (69), as Boxted were bowled out for 160 and short by 8 runs. Ashley Blows backed up his half century, by claiming three catches.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Matt Durrell 145 Wivenhoe v. Clacton
Brendan Louw 113 Wivenhoe v. Clacton

Nominations for Performance of the Week
Matt Durrell 145 Wivenhoe v. Clacton
Brendan Louw 113 Wivenhoe v. Clacton
Ed King 63 & 2 for 16 from 7.1 Kelvedon v. Real Oddies
James Raine 52no & 4 for 16 Coggeshall v. Boxted

Next Week
The season gets into full swing next week, with ten matches scheduled on Sunday. In Division One, a real test for newcomers Galleywood as they look to remain unbeaten, when hosting champions Wivenhoe. Colchester & East Essex make the trip to Copdock & Old Ipswichian, while Clacton host Elmstead at Vista Road.
In Division Two, the unbeaten records of Springfield and Halstead are on the line as they meet, with the winner cementing themselves as the early season front runners, while fresh from NVC action, Chappel & Wakes Colne make their seasonal debut at home to Great Totham, and Abberton start off with a trip to Witham. In Division Three, Stebbing will be looking to make it three from three as they welcome Real Oddies to Mill Lane, while Coggeshall look for a second win at Great Horkesley & Lexden. West Bergholt begin their campaign with a home match against Boxted. Finally in the T20 West division, last year’s semi finalists Kelvedon & Feering welcome Braintree to Rye Mill Lane.