North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 14 (July 22) - Stebbing beaten, Great Horkesley & Lexden win for the first time, and T20 Finals Day line up finalised

Just a thimble full of rain on Friday night in the area barely touched the surface, with many outfields now resembling parched savannahs. Ironically, after the completion of the World Cup, the league suffered its first concessions for a number of weeks with Eight Ash Green and Abberton both conceding their Division Two games. Obviously, with the summer holidays now starting, the problems of Sunday availability looks likely to be exacerbated. On the field, Clacton’s hopes of putting a significant gap between them and the chasing pack in Division One took a blow, when they were defeated by 29 runs by Mistley who are up to second. In Division Two, Witham briefly took top spot in the table after a seven wicket victory over Springfield on Thursday. However, unbeaten Halstead reclaimed top spot on Sunday with an eight wicket success at Great Totham. In Division Three, there was a first defeat for Stebbing, who were beaten by second placed Cavaliers at the Rugby Club. Kelvedon leap frogged Real Oddies into third place, with a nine wicket success. West Bergholt were 73 run winners over Boxted, and there were celebrations for Great Horkesley & Lexden who have their first win of the season courtesy of a 66 run success at Coggeshall. In the T20 East Division, Mistley missed their chance of getting to Final’s Day, with defeat at Wivenhoe on Thursday, which means Ipswich will join Colchester & E.E on August Bank Holiday. Little Bardfield Village and Kelvedon complete the Final's Day line up, following Bardfield's win over Coggeshall last evening.

Individually, there were three centuries with Jon Jones of Great Horkesley & Lexden posting the biggest with an unbeaten 150 against Coggeshall. Kelvedon’s Ryan Vickery (101no) and Coggeshall’s Ben Speakman (100) also reached three figures. The only five wicket performance of the week came from Cavaliers spinner Haji Ahamed (5 for 55), who was instrumental in a mid order collapse for Stebbing.

Division One
Mistley defeated league leaders Clacton at New Road on Sunday in a high scoring match, and as a result move up to second place. Batting first, Mistley made good progress through openers George Hutton (26) and Callum O’Connell (28), the pair putting on 57 for the first wicket. James Stamatis added 31 at number three, but his dismissal sparked a mini collapse as the Swans slipped to 110 for 5, with Bradley Pitts (4 for 34 from 9) causing the damage. Sizwe Masondo (90) then rebuilt the innings in a 104 run partnership, of which he scored 81, with Tim Scott to see Mistley pass the 200 mark. Scott (45) then cajoled the tail, into getting Mistley up to their total of 260, bowled out with one ball of innings unused. Kieron Parkes chipped in with 4 for 28 at the end of the innings. In reply, Clacton were reduced to four down for not many as Charlie Hawthorn and Oliver Fifield picked up a pair of wickets each. Bradley Pitts (70) and David Fitzpatrick (71) then built a fifth wicket partnership that kept the Seasiders in the chase. However, their dismissals saw the end of the contest as Clacton were eventually bowled out for 231, with 19 balls of their innings left, and defeat by 29 runs. All the Mistley bowlers took wickets, with Stamatis (2 for 8) the most successful. Leaders Clacton did at least pick up maximum bonus points from the match.

Division Two
Halstead went back to the top of Division Two on Sunday, after an eight wicket success at Great Totham. Totham won the toss and made lively early progress through Josh (29 off 21 balls) and John Chadwick, the pair putting on 56 for the first wicket. After the breakthrough, the home side then slipped to 119 for 7, with only John Chadwick (36) scoring anything of note. Ed Clark (3 for 50) had caused a middle order slump, and was backed up by Josh King (3 for 33). Jonathan Hewer (44no from 61 balls), with assistance from Matt Clarke and Daniel Quartermaine saw Totham reach respectability with 193 runs on the board, although a little wasteful in not using eight overs. Josh Ruthven (2 for 43) and Callum Hansey (2 for 5) were the other Halstead wicket takers. A century opening stand put Halstead in control, with Goushi Raviendran (56 from 59) and Sam Walter (47 from 49) putting on 106. Both departed within eight runs of each other, the impressive Will Simpson (1 for 23 from 9) and Rob Mutton (1 for 38) taking the wickets. However, thereafter, Josh Ruthven (62no from 40 balls, including five sixes) and Adam Morris (19no) made light work of the chase, with Halstead reaching the target in the 29th over.

Witham had briefly gone to the top of Division Two on Thursday evening following a seven wicket success over Springfield at Coronation Park. In a T20, Springfield batted first after winning the toss, and made a useful 178 for 7 from their 20 overs. Noah Pothen (41) and Andy Ovel (28) got Springfield off to a good start, before a middle order bash from Charlie Prudence (43, including four sixes) and Taine Pollinger (45) saw the hosts up to their total. Sarah Bendall picked up both their wickets on her way to figures of 3 for 17, while Jake Wakelin (2 for 16) also chipped in with a pair. In reply, Witham made good early progress through Jack Sambrook (49, including four maximums) and Michael Godwin. Jake Wakelin (46) continued the momentum in the run chase, before Godwin (49no) and Forster Mutizwa (28no) guided the visitors home with four balls to spare.

The other two games in Division Two were conceded, with Braintree taking the points at home to Eight Ash Green, and Chappel & Wakes Colne doing likewise against Abberton. It was Abberton’s second concession of the season, so they were deducted ten points.

Division Three
The top two sides in Division Three met at the Rugby Club, and after losing the toss, the Cavs were invited to bat first. The openers hit a rapid 116 runs for the first wicket in 18 overs, with the in form Fowad Murtaza bringing up a 41-ball fifty before Raheel Akhlaq (47) was caught at long-on. An injured hamstring then didn't stop Murtaza from combining with Noman Jalib in a second wicket partnership of 62, bringing the score up to 178 for 1 before Murtaza (82) and Munir (0) were both dismissed to make it 178 for 3. Jalib then registered his own fifty (from 46 balls, before going on to reach an unbeaten 71) and with Raouf Rasheed (24no) saw Cavaliers up to a very impressive 273 for 4 from their 40 overs. Harry Gallian (2 for 32 from 9) was the most successful and economical of the Stebbing bowlers. The Stebbing reply saw an early run out as Jalib and Farhan Munir combined for the first wicket, then Munir (9-1-45-2) claimed the next two wickets to fall to leave Stebbing 57 for 3. Harry Gallian and W Forsey then took the score to 106 for 3, at which point Haji Ahamed claimed three quick wickets (two caught behind by Dan Young) to reduce the Stebbing to 109 for 6, and facing their first defeat of the season. Gallian (70) assisted by contributions from J Smart (28) and Jason Gallian (27no) ensured Stebbing did at least claim maximum batting points as they reached 236 for 9 at the close of their 40 overs. Ahamed, eventually claimed a maiden fivefer for the Cavaliers, by returning 5 for 55 from his nine overs.

Kelvedon & Feering leap frogged Real Oddies into third place following a nine wicket success at Rye Mill Lane. The Oddies posted 161 from 34 overs, with the main contribution coming from opener Mukesh Kumar (40). After slipping to 94 for 7, with Ryan Vickery (2 for 22), Will Wilton-Steer (2 for 44) and Matt Sexton (2 for 33) all picking up wickets, an eighth wicket stand of 56 between Pete Pearson (29no) and Mike Miller (28) saw the Oddies up to their total. Alan Cookson (2 for 11) wrapped up the innings for Kelvedon. In reply, Kelvedon strolled to victory with nine overs to spare, as openers Ryan Vickery and Tom Potter (52) put on an opening stand of 153. Vickery (101no) went on to complete his century as Kelvedon reached the target.

West Bergholt made it two wins on the bounce with a 73 run success at Boxted. After winning the toss Bergholt openers Matt Rogers and Ed Hance (15) put on a half century opening stand. Rogers (44) eventually top scored in the innings, with the other major contributions coming from James Banks (43) in the middle order, and some useful late order runs from James Aldridge (36) as Bergholt were bowled out with seven balls of their innings left for 196. There were three wickets a piece for Harry Wilton (3 for 42) and Michael Dell (3 for 29), while Kye Hayden (2 for 40) and Prakash Day (2 for 16) both picked up a brace. The Bergholt bowlers then kept the Boxted reply at bay, with tight spells from Own Jones (2 for 22 from 6) and Peter Twydell (1 for 12 from 5) at the beginning of the innings setting the tone. None of the Boxted batsmen topped opener’s Steve Philpott (26), with Paul Harris (20) the only other player to reach twenty. Aldridge (3 for 17) backed up his batting exploits with a decisive bowling spell, bowled in tandem with Mustafa Irshad (2 for 33) as Boxted were bowled out in the 30th over for 123.

Great Horkesley & Lexden broke their duck with a 66 run victory at Coggeshall. On a very good wicket and receptive outfield, runs were easy to come by, with 540 posted during the afternoon. The Saxons, won the toss and elected to bat, and after the loss of skipper Robin Seller (15) cheaply, made hay in the sunshine. Jon Jones was the star of the innings with a brilliant unbeaten century, his hundred came off 97 balls and he ended up on 150 not out from 128 balls, his innings including 24 fours. Toby Nickell-Lean (48 off 39) and Alistair Manhire (47 off 44) gave support as the Saxons posted 303 for 5 from their 40 overs. Ben Speakman was the most successful of the Coggeshall bowlers, claiming 3 for 20 from his six overs. In reply, the hosts claimed maximum batting points, largely through a century from Speakman (100), and with six other players reaching double figures, of which Oliver Kempster (31) was the only one to pass twenty. Shiraz Amin (3 for 21 from 8) was the stand out bowler in batting friendly conditions, while Rauf Maan (2 for 36) and Jerry Morgan (2 for 18) also claimed a pair of wickets each. Jon Jones pouched four catches in the outfield to cap a fine personal match.

T20 East
T20 champions Wivenhoe rounded off their group campaign with a 53 run win over Mistley at Rectory Road on Thursday evening, and in doing so, ended their visitors hopes of reaching Finals Day. Batting first the Hoe made a strong start through Brendon Louw (28) and Jakob Kelly (19), the pair putting on an opening stand of 51. Jimmy Goff (3 for 24 from 4) claimed both their wickets and that of Matt Durrell for an uncharacteristic duck. The middle order for Wivenhoe powered on with Harry Burnett (48), Michael Canvaon (32) and Eddie Lucking (28) all scoring well as the home side reached 176 for 6 from their twenty. Alastair Day (2 for 35) and Matthew Bibby (1 for 31) were the other wicket takers for the Swans. In reply, Mistley never really threatened the Wivenhoe total losing early wickets to a tidy Wivenhoe bowling unit. Harry Parkes (26) and Tim Scott (24) top scored for the Swans, while Jamie Lucking (3 for 12 from 4), Harry Burnett (2 for 26) and Joseph Nicholls (2 for 14) were amongst the wickets as Mistley were bowled out in the 18th over for 123.

T20 – West
Ever present Finals Day participants Little Bardfield Village are through again to this year’s finale following a 54 run success in what was effectively a quarter final against Coggeshall. In a game reduced to 15 overs per side, the Village took first knock and were reduced to 58 for 3, with Daryl Hymas (26 from 24) scoring most at the top of the order. George Blackwell (2 for 11) and Robert Cross (1 for 25) the wicket takers. However, that was the last success for Coggeshall as Matt Graham and Will Slemmings (30no from 24) put on an unbeaten 110 for the fourth wicket to lift Bardfield to a more than useful 168 for 3. Graham was explosive in his innings, smashing an unbeaten 82 from 32 balls, which included seven fours and five sixes. Kane Addison (30 from 15 balls) and George Blackwell (30 from 29) gave Coggeshall a spirited start, before Ian Catley (4 for 22) made inroads into the top order and ended the game as a contest. Harvey Ellis (12) and Charlie Gibson (10) were the only other players to reach double figures as Coggeshall were bowled out for 114. Will Slemmings (2 for 3) was the other principal wicket taker for Little Bardfield. Bardfield qualify as West Division winners, with Kelvedon progressing as Runners-Up.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Jon Jones 150 * Great Horkesley & Lexden v. Coggeshall
Ryan Vickery 101 * Kelvedon v. Real Oddies
Ben Speakman 100 Coggeshall v. Great Horkesley & Lexden

Haji Ahamed 5 -- 55 Cavaliers v. Stebbing

Jon Jones 4cts  Great Horkesley & Lexden v. Coggeshall

Nominations for Performance of the Week
Bradley Pitts 70 & 4 for 34 Clacton v. Mistley
Jon Jones 150no Great Horkesley & Lexden v. Coggeshall
Haji Ahamed 5-55 Cavaliers v. Stebbing
Matt Graham 82no from 32 Little Bardfield Village v. Coggeshall T20

Congratulations to Abberton’s Alex Terry whose bowling performance of 6 for 53 against Braintree won a close fought vote to claim the Performance of the Week.

Next Week
The final weekend of July sees nine matches scheduled with the weather looking as though it is going to stay hot. In Division One, unbeaten Wivenhoe are back in action for the first time in the longer game since the end of May, as they travel to second placed Mistley. Colchester & E.E. are also playing their first game since 10th June, and are looking for a win at home to Copdock & OI, having slipped to the bottom of the table. In Division Two, there is a full programme scheduled, leaders Halstead welcome close neighbours Chappel & Wakes Colne to Star Stile. Second placed Witham are at home to Braintree, third placed Springfield host bottom of the table Eight Ash Green, while Abberton entertain Great Totham at The Brow. In Division Three, leaders Stebbing will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat as they host Boxted. Second placed Cavaliers are also on home turf as they welcome Coggeshall, while third placed Kelvedon make the trip to Great Horkesley & Lexden.
In the T20 the final group match will take place in the East Division, with Ipswich looking to take the divisional honours with a win over Mistley.