North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 17 (August 12th) - Mistley go top of Division 1, Eight man Green pull off remarkable victory

With rain in the forecast, a number of matches were reduced overs affairs. Three games were lost, two to concession – Copdock conceding for the fourth time this season, which cements their relegation, with Wivenhoe the beneficiaries. Great Totham conceded their home game to Chappel & Wakes Colne, while the Division Three game at Stebbing was cancelled due to lying water on the outfield. In Division One, Mistley are the new leaders following a seven wicket success at Colchester & E.E. In Division Two, Halstead got back to winning ways with a 34 run victory at Witham, in the other game team performance of the week came from eight man Eight Ash Green who pulled off a 54 run victory over the in form Braintree. In Division Three, leaders Cavaliers were defeated at home by Real Oddies, while Kelvedon gained ground with a nine wicket success at home to Coggeshall. There was a thriller at Mile End where the bottom two in the division were separated by a single run, with Boxted the winners over Great Horkesley & Lexden.
Just the one century this week, with Eight Ash Green’s Ollie Stovell (117) starring in his sides batting effort. Ashok Sharma (98) of Real Oddies just missed out in the game against Cavaliers. The bowlers had a rare time on top this weekend with three five wicket performances, George Curtis of Kelvedon returned 6 for 20 against Coggeshall, Ollie Cooke (6 for 26) had a hand in all the Halstead wickets, while Matt Parker (5 for 30) bowled a decisive spell in Eight Ash Green’s win over Braintree.

Division One
Mistley are the new leaders of Division One, following a seven wicket victory at Castle Park. In a game reduced to 25 overs per side, Colchester won the toss and elected to bat. Only Adnan Hashmi (39 from 44 balls) and Andrew Kennedy (20 from 37) reached double figures as the hosts were restricted to 110 for 7. Dylan Day (2 for 17) and Harry Fifield (2 for 21) were the pick of the bowlers for the Swans. In reply, Stuart Barwood (40 from 27 balls), enjoying a second wicket stand of 53 with George Hutton (22 from 20 balls) ensured the visitors reached their target in double quick time, securing the win in the fourteenth over.

Unfortunately, Copdock & OI conceded for the fourth time this season, and saw a further twenty point deduction which guarantees their relegation after one season in Division One. Wivenhoe were the beneficiaries and remain on course to retain their title.

Division Two
After last week’s hiccup leaders Halstead were back on track with a 34 run victory at Witham. An opening stand of 108 between Josh Ruthven (60) and Taylor Nicholson (40) set them on their way, before Ollie Cooke removed Nicholson via a run out. Cooke then dominated with the ball taking the other six wickets to fall on his way to excellent figures of 6 for 26. Matthew Cooper (37) and Adam Morris (28) also added runs of notes for the visitors in their total of 211 for 7. Michael Godwin (27) and Forster Mutizwa (41) put on 62 for the first wicket to give Witham a solid start. However, Joe Morris (4 for 29) claimed both their wickets and the first four wickets to fall as Witham slipped to 87 for 4. Ollie Cooke (33) and Luke Brown (36) added some useful runs, before Paul Bellehewe (17no) took the hosts up to their score of 177 for 7.

Team performance of the week must have come from eight man Eight Ash Green, who posted a competitive score against the in form Braintree and then managed to defend it. A third wicket stand of 187 between Matt Norris (61) and Ollie Stovell, his first NECL century, (117 from 102 balls) rescued a perilous situation for the Green having earlier slipped to 20 for 2. The Green eventually closed at 237 for 5 from their forty overs. In reply Matt Parker and Will Spicer (2 for 30) reduced Braintree to 84 for 5, before a sixth wicket partnership of 70 between Geoff Eveling (71) and Chris Leech put Braintree back on track. Joe Young (1 for 42) claimed the wicket of Eveling to a leg before decision, and with Leech now having to shepherd the tail the chase just became too onerous. Leech was caught at the wicket for 71, as Matt Parker (5 for 30) returned to mop up proceedings with Braintree bowled out for 183 in the 35th over. The Green’s victory lifts them off the foot of the table.

Great Totham, after a recent good run were unable to raise a side for their home game with Chappel & Wakes Colne.

Division Three
After a run of five successive victories had catapulted Cavaliers to the summit of Division Three, the Cavs suffered a surprise home defeat when looking to extend their lead after Stebbing had been washed out. Real Oddies were the visitors to the Rugby Club, and in a game reduced to 30 overs per side took first knock after winning the toss. The innings was dominated by Ashok Sharma (98), who just missed out on a century being bowled by Muhammadi Nadeem (2 for 33). Such was Sharma’s dominance only two other batsmen got to double figures, Scott Rees (19) and James Grange (10no), as Oddies posted 169 for 9 from their 30 overs. Prakash Kannan (4 for 40) was the most successful of the five Cavaliers bowlers used, although each claimed at least one wicket, while keeper Imran Ikram had a busy afternoon with four catches. In reply Darren Dellar made a rapid 34 at the top of the order, but the writing was probably on the wall when the consistent Fowad Murtaza suffered a rare failure this season, scoring only 5. Noman Jailb (18) helped move the score onto 38 for 2, before Scott Rees (3 for 33) and Malien Mudalige (3 for 24) made significant inroads into the Cavaliers middle order as they slumped from 63 for 2 to 91 for 7. Tariq Hijazi (21) and Subhadeep Gupta (10) saw Cavaliers pass the hundred mark, but they were eventually bowled out for 118 in the 26th over.

A match winning bowling performance from George Curtis proved to be the difference between Kelvedon and Coggeshall on Sunday. Coming on as first change after Ed King (1 for 5 from 5) had bowled a miserly opening burst, Curtis claimed 6 for 20 as Coggeshall collapsed. Only Louis Gibson (32) and Toby Brown (11) reached double figures, as Matt Sexton (2 for 20) and Reece Dolman (1 for 0) wrapped up the innings with the Cockerels dismissed for just 68 in 25 overs. The Kelvedon fielders backed up their bowlers, with no less than eight catches being taken, of which wicket keeper Josh Bibby claimed three. Glen Shuter (1 for 23) claimed the only Kelvedon wicket to fall, before an unbroken second wicket stand of 64 between Alan Cookson (22no) and Pat Ahearne (35no) saw Kelvedon to a nine wicket success in 14.1 overs.

In a game reduced to 30 over per side due to the impending arrival of rain, that actually never arrived, the bottom two in Division Three served up a thriller. The Saxons won the toss and inserted Boxted and reaped immediate rewards as Paul Hart (1 for 22 from 7) claimed the wicket of Michael Dell for a duck to a caught and bowled. The Saxons bowlers were able to keep the Boxted run scoring in check, with Shafi Sayed (0 for 21), Graeson Laitt (3 for 28) and Jon Jones (1 for 25) all bowling tidy seven over spells. Chris Humphrey (42) and Kye Hayden (39) top scored for Boxted as they posted an uninspiring 115 for 5 from 30 overs. Robin Seller (26) and Jon Jones (14) put on 39 for the first wicket before both of them fell to Michael Dell (3 for 9). From 39 without loss the home side then crashed to 74 for 7, as Danny Morton (2 for 15 from 7) and Kye Hayden made decisive inroads. A 26 run partnership for the eighth wicket between Niall Fitzgerald and John Hyde (5) brought up the 100, but with Will Cosham (2 for 13) claiming wickets of Hyde and Laitt in quick succession, the hosts still required 16 from their last pairing to secure a win. Fitzgerald (28) seemingly done the hard work by putting on 14 runs with Paul Hart (2no) to draw the Saxons up to within a run of a tie, before Hayden (3 for 31) claimed a match winning caught and bowled with two balls of the innings remaining.

Stebbing have gone to the top of the table despite having to cancel their match with West Bergholt due to standing water on the outfield. Although level on points with Cavaliers, Stebbing currently have a better head to head record in terms of points gained.

As we are now past the July 31st deadline for re-arranging matches following cancellation and concessions, the following games have now been confirmed as not being re-arranged, so points allocated as below and tables updated accordingly.

6 May
Division Two
Abberton v Witham – Match Cancelled (6pnts each)
Division Three
Coggeshall v Real Oddies – Match Cancelled (6pnts each)

13 May
Division Two
Chappel & WC v. Halstead – Match Cancelled (6pnts each)

20 May
Great Horkesley & Lexden (20pnts) bt Coggeshall (-10pnts) by concession – Coggeshall deducted 10 points under Rule 15b – second and subsequent concession

Centuries and Five Wickets
Ollie Stovell 117 Eight Ash Green v. Braintree

George Curtis 6 -- 20 Kelvedon v. Coggeshall
Ollie Cooke 6 -- 26 Witham v. Halstead
Matt Parker 5 -- 30 Eight Ash Green v. Braintree

Imran Ikram 4ct Cavaliers v. Real Oddies

Performance of the Week nominations
Ollie Stovell 117 Eight Ash Green v. Braintree
George Curtis 6 for 20 Kelvedon v. Coggeshall
Ollie Cooke 6 for 26 Witham v. Halstead
Matt Parker 5 for 30 Eight Ash Green v. Braintree

Congratulations to Kelvedon’s Ryan Vickery who’s all round performance of 74 and 4 for 20 against Boxted last week was adjudged performance of the week.

Next Week
Eight matches are scheduled for Sunday. In Division One, Galleywood are in action at home to Colchester & E.E., although the game is currently in doubt and maybe played the following weekend. In Division Two, Eight Ash Green will be hoping for more than eight players as they face the stern test of leaders Halstead at Fordham Heath. Second placed Springfield travel to Abberton, while Braintree host Chappel & Wakes Colne. In Division Three it is getting very tight, but the top four will all fancy their chances of bagging maximum points. Leaders Stebbing are at home to bottom of the table Great Horkesley & Lexden, second placed Cavaliers make the short trip to Boxted. Kelvedon are on home turf against West Bergholt, while fourth placed Real Oddies entertain Coggeshall.