North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 18 (August 19th) - Halstead on the brink, Colchester routed !

Just five weeks left of the 2018 NECL season and clubs are getting into position for the final push for honours – in Division One, Galleywood routed an inexperienced Colchester & E.E side to keep their hopes of a Division One title. In Division Two, Halstead require just seventeen points from their remaining three games to clinch the title, this was following their victory over Eight Ash Green by concession at the weekend, and second placed Springfield’s six wicket defeat at Abberton. Chappel & Wakes Colne have climbed into second place following a big win at Braintree where Ross Wyatt (118) scored the only century of the weekend. In Division Three, it’s as you were, as the top four all picked up maximum points to keep the promotion and championship race nicely bubbling.
There were three five wicket performances this week, with the best being from Real Oddies Mike Miller who 5 for 9 saw the Oddies to a 32 run victory over Coggeshall. Zack Hicks (5 for 18) was largely responsible for Colchester & E.E. crashing to 41 all out, while Harry Gallian (5 for 21) claimed his fivefor in Stebbing’s win over bottom club Great Horkesley & Lexden.

Division One
A complete match in barely seventeen overs in Division One, as an understrength Colchester & E.E were dismantled by Galleywood. Winning the toss and batting first, only opener Michael Cursons (25) got to double figures, as Zack Hicks (5 for 18) and Sam Adams (3 for 22) shared the wickets to see ten man Colchester dismissed for a season low of 41 in just over ten overs. Galleywood then recovered from the early loss of a wicket to a caught and bowled to Cursons (1 for 11) to register a nine wicket success in 7.5 overs. James Adams (15no) and Tim Detheridge (22no) the unbeaten Galleywood batsmen.

Division Two
Halstead require just seventeen points, or one win, to claim their first NECL silverware since winning Division One in 2010, following Eight Ash Green’s concession to them on Sunday. For the Green it was their second concession of the season so saw them deducted ten points and slip back to the foot of the table, and realistically requiring to win all four of their remaining games to avoid relegation.

Springfield started the day in second place, but a defeat by lowly Abberton sees them slip to third. The game was delayed due to the visitors arriving late at The Brow, and was therefore, reduced to 35 overs per side. Springfield won the toss and elected to bat, but were in disarray losing the first four wickets cheaply, as Robert McKim (3 for 31) and Ross Soteriou (1 for 21 from 8) made the early breakthrough. Recovery for Springfield came from Noah Pothen (28) and Neil Kennedy, and with Ollie Prudence (46) adding useful runs at the end the score reached 160 for 7, Kennedy unbeaten on 38. The Lions reply was dominated by a second wicket stand between Elliot Mann and Matthew Sullivan (55). The league’s leading wicket taker, Martin Southwell claimed another three wickets, including Sullivan, on his way to figures of 3 for 34, but Mann went on to record an unbeaten 87 as Abberton reached the target in the 28th over.

Chappel & Wakes Colne were the biggest scorers of the day, and as a result of a 143 run win at Braintree climb up to second in the table. Batting first the Chappel pinch hitter Ross Wyatt was back in his favourite position, doing what he does best, he smashed 118 from just 69 balls, in an innings which included fifteen fours and four sixes. His opening partner Harry Bryant (77 from 83) posted his fourth fifty of the season, as the pair put on 215 for the first wicket. Three wickets then fell on that score, including both Wyatt and Bryant. Chris Carter (51 from 25 balls) and Tristan Moseley (33 from 30) combining with a fifth wicket stand of 55 as the visitors closed in on 300. With some cameos at the death from the tail, Chappel eventually closed at 338 for 8, the biggest score in Division Two this season. For Braintree the bowling successes came for Luke McNeil (3 for 47), Carl Lees (3 for 77) and Calley Foyster (2 for 78). The highlight of the Dolphins reply came from Carl Lees (61 from 46 balls), with Chris Leech (30 from 28 balls) the next top scorer. All seven Chappel bowlers claimed a wicket, with the best being Jack Perfect-Brown (3 for 21) and Henry Dow (2 for 47) as Braintree were dismissed in the 37th over for 195.

Division Three
After three games where Stebbing’s lead at the top of the table had been eroded, by two cancellations and a concession they were finally able to get onto the field and score a much needed win to get their title aspirations back on track. Bottom club Great Horkesley & Lexden were the visitors to the Stebbing Recreation Ground, and after finding themselves in the field after losing the toss reduced the hosts to 114 for 6, of which opener Josh O’Connor (36) and David Townsend (21) had top scored. Mayar Munshi (3 for 37) caused most of the problems for the top order Stebbing batsmen. However, a seventh wicket stand of 107 between S Sanjee (64) and Chris Townsend took Stebbing towards a competitive total. A late flurry of runs from an unbeaten 8th wicket partnership of 46 between Townsend (60no) and Simon Sargent (16no) saw Stebbing close at 267 for 7 from their 40 overs. A steady opening stand between Nihal Jayasooriya (24) and Anthony Shearman (27) saw the visitors put on 63 before Harry Gallian (5 for 21) and Gus Latham (3 for 52) made significant inroads into the lower order. A seventh wicket stand of 59 between Robin Seller (26) and Shafi Sayed saw the Saxons glean two more batting points. Sayed (54) was eventually ninth man out, just before the visitors were finally dismissed for 170.

Cavaliers matched Stebbing with a convincing win at Boxted. Batting first after winning the toss Imran Ikram (23) and Fowad Murtaza, took the attack to Boxted, adding 85 runs for the opening partnership at a run rate just above 6 an over. The partnership was ended after a brilliant stop at first slip saw Ikram run out by Kye Hayden. The run rate was maintained in a second wicket partnership of 48 between Murtaza (who brought up a 47-ball fifty) and Noman Jalib, seeing the Cavaliers up to 133 for1 after 22 overs. Murtaza (67) after his scoring blip last weekend was eventually caught at long-off. An attacking unbeaten third wicket partnership of 146 (at over 8 an over) between Jalib and Muhammadi Nadeem saw the Cavs accelerate; Jalib bringing up a 46-ball fifty and Nadeem reaching his fifty in 50 balls. The Cavaliers looked set for a score in the region of 250-260, but three sixes by Nadeem (77no) off the last three balls of the 39th over saw the Cavs race past 270, reaching 279/2 at the end of their 40 overs, with Jalib unbeaten on 88. Prakash Day (1 for 34) was the solitary wicket taker for Boxted. The Boxted chase made an unspectacular start as Salman Riaz claimed a wicket in his first over. Vinayakumar Gedi bowled a miserly spell which returned excellent figures of 9-5-6-2, and with Noman Hussain (4 for 20) replacing Riaz, Boxted collapsed to 38 for 6. Prakash Day (27) was the only Boxted batsman to reach double figures, with Riaz (2 for 12) eventually claiming his wicket, as the hosts were eventually bowled out for 85.

Kelvedon & Feering have games in hand on the top two and can nick the championship with a winning run to the end of the season. On Sunday, West Bergholt were the visitors to Rye Mill Lane, who took first knock after winning the toss. James Banks (30 from 25 balls) and Harvey Borges gave the visitors a lively start putting on 43 in little more than six overs. However, once the breakthrough was made runs became harder to come by, with only Arnav Thayur (65no from 108 balls) showing any resilience. Lewis Cookson (4 for 31) was the pick of the Kelvedon bowlers, although Ed King (1 for 17 from 7) and Matt Sexton (1 for 28 from 9) bowled tidy spells as Bergholt were restricted to 146 for 8 from their forty overs. Mark Cottee and Charlie Wilde (28) then made victory a formality for the hosts by putting on an opening stand of 113. Cottee carried his bat for an unbeaten 81, as Kelvedon reached the target for the loss of two wickets at the beginning of the 28th over.

Real Oddies still have an outside chance of promotion and scored an important victory over Coggeshall at the Garrison to maintain the pressure on the teams above them. Only four batsmen got to double figures in their total of 157 for 7 from 40 overs, with Ashok Sharma (47) and Steve Peacock (29no) top scoring. The Oddies total was bolstered by a generous 43 extras, of which 34 were wides. Coggeshall managed to use all eleven players in a bowling capacity, with Sam Smith (3 for 7) and Glen Shuter (2 for 17 from 9) the most successful. In reply Coggeshall were bowled out at the beginning of the 34th over for 125, the highlights of the second innings being two individual performances with bat and ball. For Coggeshall, an incredible solo innings from opener Charlie Gibson who scored 86 before Malien Mudalige (1 for 25) claimed his wicket. While the Oddies performance came from Mike Miller who bowled a straight line by claiming 5 for 9, four of his victims bowled and the other to a leg before decision.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Ross Wyatt 118 Chappel & WC v Braintree

Mike Miller 5 -- 9 Real Oddies v. Coggeshall
Zack Hicks 5 -- 18 Galleywood v. Colchester & E.E
Harry Gallian 5 -- 21 Stebbing v. Great Horkesley & Lexden

NECL Performance of the Week
Zack Hicks 5-18 Galleywood v. Colchester & E.E.
Ross Wyatt 118 Chappel & WC v. Braintree
Mike Miller 5-9 Real Oddies v. Coggeshall
Harry Gallian 5-21 Stebbing v. Great Horkesley & Lexden

Congratulations to Kelvedon’s George Curtis who’s bowling performance of 6 for 20 against Coggeshall was adjudged Performance of the Week

Next Week
The first silverware of the season will be lifted on Bank Holiday Monday with the third NECL T20 Finals Day scheduled to take place at Castle Park. The Semi Finals will both start at 11am, with Ipswich playing Kelvedon & Feering, while Little Bardfield Village will take on Colchester & E.E. The Final is scheduled to start at approximately 3pm. The bar will be open throughout the day, and there will be a BBQ on the go as well.
There is no Division One action on Sunday, in Division Two Chappel & Wakes Colne welcome Eight Ash Green to The Hobbies, while Great Totham host Braintree at Bull Meadow. In Division Three, the match of the day will see Stebbing host Kelvedon & Feering, with the winners likely to be in pole position for the title. Second placed Cavaliers will be hoping to keep the heat on with a win at West Bergholt, while fourth placed Real Oddies make the trip to Boxted.