North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 20 (September 2nd) - Halstead champions of Division Two, and Centuries galore !

Glorious weather greeted the start of the final month of the season, and with no less than seven centuries it was certainly a batsmen’s day. In Division One, the top three all won, of which leaders Mistley were the only to achieve a win on the field, with a 93 run victory over Galleywood. Clacton and Wivenhoe, both picked up wins courtesy of concessions by their respective visitors, Colchester & E.E. and Copdock & O.I. Wivenhoe are still in pole position with two home games to come. In Division two, Halstead suffered only their second reverse of the season with a 14 run defeat at Abberton, who can still avoid the drop with two wins in their last two games. However, there was a sweet side to defeat for Halstead, as Springfield were well beaten at Braintree, thereby crowning Halstead as Division Two champions. Second placed Chappel & Wakes Colne finished off their season with a thumping win over Great Totham, who will be looking nervously over their shoulders as they can be overtaken by Abberton and Witham. Already relegated Eight Ash Green were big winners over a ‘hungover’ Witham, who were celebrating Two Counties successes late into Saturday night. In Division Three, Cavaliers pulled off a seven wicket victory over third placed Kelvedon to finish their campaign, and go top. Kelvedon can still win the title with two wins in their final matches, and Stebbing also have an interest as a win in their final game will see them go above Cavaliers by virtue of results in their head to head games. Boxted run riot at Coggeshall where brothers Matt and Jon Wilson both compiled centuries, while Great Horkesley & Lexden are off the foot of the division to be replaced by West Bergholt who had ten points deducted for a late concession in their match, in a game that was actually played !
Seven centuries on Sunday was the biggest weekly return of the season, in Division One, 15 year old Callum O’Connell registered 102 for Mistley against Galleywood. In Division Two, Ross Wyatt (138) and Zac Taylor (149) went big for Chappel & Wakes Colne against Great Totham, while at Braintree, Daniel Garner (152) and Carl Lees (111) also went to three figures. Finally the Boxted pairing of Matt Wilson (121no) and John Wilson (122) brought up centuries in Division Three. Chappel’s Henry Dow (5 for 14) was the only players to return a fivefor on Sunday, with Josh King (4 for 31) the next best in Halstead’s defeat at Abberton, which takes him to the top of the league wicket takers with 18 wickets.

Division One

Mistley remain top of Division One following a 93 run victory over Galleywood at New Road. Batting first, the star of the Mistley innings was undoubtedly fifteen year old Callum O’Connell who posted his second century of the NECL campaign with 102. He enjoyed a second wicket stand of 72 with Stuart Barwood (44) and a third wicket stand of 101 with George Hutton. Hutton (54) and Matthew Bibby (67) then ensured that the run scoring did not abate, as Mistley raced to 327 for 6. Clay Westwood was the most successful of the Galleywood bowlers returning 3 for 64 from his nine overs. In reply, ten man Galleywood made a solid enough start with James Adams (31), Charlie Murray (40) and Tim Dethridge (40) putting on 109 for the first two wickets. Bruce Leeke (3 for 40 from 9) and Harry Fifield (3 for 24 from 6) pinned back the Galleywood reply, as they were reduced to 156 for 7. Josh McFaull (30) and Sam Adams (47) put on an eighth wicket stand of 78, before both fell in quick succession to end the match, with Galleywood scoring 234.

The other two games in Division One were both conceded by the travelling sides, meaning that Clacton and Wivenhoe are both still very much in title contention. Colchester & E.E. and Copdock & O.I both completed their seasons, the latter losing another ten points for multiple concessions this season which sees them into negative points.

Division Two
Relegation threatened Abberton pulled off a surprise against champions Halstead which means with results going their way on Sunday, their relegation survival is now in their own hands. Halstead, despite defeat were later confirmed as champions, following Springfield’s defeat at Braintree. Batting first after winning the toss, Abberton lost an early wicket before Darren Davies and Matt Sullivan (22) scored quickly in a 45 run stand for the second wicket. Joe Morris (1-30) bowled Sullivan as the hosts continued their lightning-quick start, Will House (44) adding 65 with Davies as the latter passed his 50. The spin pairing of Sam Walter (3-38) and Josh King (4-31) turned the innings around, with Abberton falling from 125-2 to 186 all out, with Craig Scott left stranded on 27 not out. In reply, Halstead were two down for 13 very early, Brad Mann (3 for 21) cartwheeling Matt Cooper’s middle stump and then claiming Josh Ruthven to a belated leg before. When Mark Johnson (18) became Mann’s third victim, Halstead were struggling at 44 for 3. Josh King (43) and Sam Hawes (20) rebuilt with a 59 run fourth wicket stand, but John Arnold (3 for 29) dismissed the dangerous King in his first over to a catch in the gully. Runs were then kept at a premium as Arnold and Craig Scott (0 for 31) bowled tight lines as the required rate crept up to ten an over. Adam Morris (31no) and Sam Walter (22no) put on an unbeaten stand of 55 for the seventh wicket, but ultimately requiring 22 off the last over was too much of an ask and Halstead finished short by 14 runs.

Second placed Chappel & Wakes Colne completed their campaign with an emphatic victory over eight man Great Totham at The Hobbies. Batting first after winning the toss the Chappel openers made good use of the gaps in the field, with Ross Wyatt (138 from 87 balls) and Zac Taylor compiling an opening stand of 233. Pinch hitter Wyatt was the first to depart, having posted his second successive century. Sam King fell cheaply, before veteran Kevin Baker joined Taylor in a 92 run partnership for the third wicket, before Taylor was dismissed for an excellent 149 from 77 balls. Baker was the last wicket to fall for 44, as Chappel close at a massive 347 for 4. Ryan Archibald (2 for 12 from 3) was the most successful of the Totham bowlers. In reply, Chappel skipper Henry Dow made light work with the ball returning 5 for 14 from 6.3 overs, as Totham succumbed to 88 all out. John Chadwick (18) was the top scorer for the visitors.

Springfield’s hopes of spoiling Halstead’s party were dashed by a rampant Braintree at St Peters Road. A second wicket stand of 197 between Daniel Garner and Carl Lees (111 from 78 balls) was the catalyst for a big Dolphins score. After Lees, departed Garner continued the momentum eventually falling for 152 from 115 balls, and enjoying a third wicket stand of 62 with Matt Kent. Kent was undefeated on 22, as Braintree closed at 320 for 4. Springfield used eight bowlers in an attempt to stem the flood of runs, with Noah Pothen (2 for 69 from 9) the most successful. Paul Durrant, who bowled his first spell in a number of years in Springfield’s last match and reaped three wickets, promptly returned to bowling retirement as his single over was dispatched for 18. Springfield, never really threatened the mammoth Braintree score, with containing full bowling spells from Rory Ainsley (0 for 38) and Calley Foyster (2 for 36) limiting the run chase. Charlie Prudence (62 from 55) and Noah Pothen (50 from 52 balls) top scored for Springfield as they secured maximum batting points reaching 211 for 5 in reply.

Already relegated Eight Ash Green scored a victory over a ‘hungover’ Witham who had celebrated Two Counties success late into Saturday night. Green won the toss and elected to subject their hosts to an afternoon in the sun in the field, the last thing you need in having over indulged. James Parker and Tom Lee put on 49 for the first wicket, before Lee (7) was dismissed looking to up his score rate. Matt Norris (24) joined Parker in a second wicket stand of 73, before a mid order collapse saw the Green slip from 122 for 1 to 129 for 5, including the wicket of Parker for 77. Ben Tinham (3 for 36 from 9) bowling a wicket taking spell. Ollie Stovell (30) and Alex Hammond (56) put on a sixth wicket stand of 84 as the Green passed 200. Matt Parker (12no) and Duncan Wyatt (9no) had some late runs as the visitors closed on 245 for 7. Forster Mutizwa, was the ninth Witham bowler to be used and returned the second best figures with 2 for 28. Witham were soon in trouble in reply with both openers back in the pavilion with 25 on the board. Twelve year old Ethan Wyatt (1 for 11 from 4) and Matthew Murray taking the early wickets. Murray was to pick up another wicket on his way to figures of 2 for 44, as Witham looked to rebuild through Daniel Atkinson (24) and Michael Godwin (34). Godwin was fourth man out with the score on 86, and from there wickets fell regularly, with only Ollie Cooke (30no) showing any resistance in the lower order. Spin twins William Spicer (3 for 28) and Matt Parker (3 for 31) shared the wickets for Eight Ash Green as Witham slumped to 131 all out

Division Three
Second placed Cavaliers ended their campaign with a convincing victory at third placed Kelvedon, which saw them climb to the top of the table. However, they are dependent on results over the next three weeks to see if they will be crowned champions or even promoted, as both Stebbing and Kelvedon can still overtake them with wins in their final matches. Cavaliers won the toss and elected to field and soon claimed the wicket of danger man Ryan Vickery (17) as the hosts slipped to 33 for 2. Raouf Rasheed and Neville Davidson (1 for 26 from 9) bowling useful opening spells to claim a wicket each early on. Charlie Wilde (40), Mark Cottee (43) and Mick Warner (34) all put in useful knocks as Kelvedon reached 189 for 7. Rasheed (2 for 37) and Vinayakumar Gedi (2 for 39) the most successful of the Cavs bowlers. Cavaliers openers Imran Ikram (19) and Fowad Murtaza put on a rapid 48 for the first wicket, before a mix up between the two saw Ikram run out. That wicket brought skipper Noman Jalib to the crease, and he and Murtaza proceeded to rotate the strike and hit boundaries off the loose balls during a second wicket stand of 85 in 17 overs, during which time Murtaza brought up a 77 ball fifty. Murtaza (55) was dismissed with the score on 133, and two overs later Jalib fell for 59, not long after bringing up a 46 ball fifty. It was left to Muhammadi Nadeem to finish the run chase off, with a quickfire 35 from 23 balls, which included four consecutive fours at the end of the 35th over. His fourth wicket partner Rasheed (9no) finished the match off by lifting a six to the boundary to see Cavaliers win by seven wickets.

Boxted were another side in the runs on Sunday, and pulled off a 161 run victory at Coggeshall. Steve Philpott (41) and Michael Dell (27) got the Boxted innings off to a good start, before brothers Matt Wilson (121no) and Jon Wilson (122) made hay in the sunshine. Kye Hayden (22no) added useful runs at the end of the innings as Boxted reached a mammoth 351 for 4. Coggeshall used eight bowlers with S Barret (2 for 48) the most successful bowler. In reply Coggeshall were bowled out in the 39th over for 190, with S Barrett (65), James Raine (46) and Theo Sivyer (42) all putting in useful stints at the crease. Michael Dell (3 for 24) was the pick of the Boxted bowlers, while Daniel Morton (2 for 10) and Andy Wilson (2 for 23 from 9) both pick up a pair of wickets.

Great Horkesley & Lexden are out of the wooden spoon position following a bizarre eleventh hour concession by their hosts West Bergholt – who as a result were deducted ten points under Rule 15B and slip to the foot of the table. On arrival at the ground the Bergholt captain informed the Saxons counterpart that they had ten players. The toss took place, and GHL were going to bat, but when the players were taking to the field it was revealed that West Bergholt were two players short due to the earlier start time, and it was requested that the start delayed. Sure enough the players turned up, but unfortunately, one of the players Mahesh Arcot had turned out for Great Horkesley & Lexden in a league match on June 3rd making him ineligible for West Bergholt. After some discussion amongst West Bergholt the skipper then told GHL that having only nine eligible players they would have to concede the game and play a friendly. GHL did offer that Arcot could field but would not be able to bat or bowl, and the game played as a league match, but that was declined. A competitive friendly saw Great Horkesley & Lexden post 221 for 5 and West Bergholt 199 for 8 in reply, but no points awarded.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Daniel Garner 152 Braintree v. Springfield
Zac Taylor 149 Chappel & WC v. Great Totham
Ross Wyatt 138 Chappel & WC v. Great Totham
Jon Wilson 122 Boxted v. Coggeshall
Matthew Wilson 121 * Boxted v. Coggeshall
Carl Lees 111 Braintree v. Springfield
Callum O'Connell 102 Mistley v. Galleywood

Henry Dow 5 -- 14 Chappel & WC v. Great Totham

Performance of the Week Nominations
Daniel Garner 152, C Lees 111 Braintree v. Springfield
Zac Taylor 149, Ross Wyatt 138 and Henry Dow 5 for 14 Chappel & WC v. Great Totham
Jon Wilson 122, Matt Wilson 121* Boxted v. Coggeshall
15yo Callum O’Connell 102 Mistley v. Galleywood

Next Week
Just the five matches scheduled for Sunday. In Division One, champions Wivenhoe host Clacton at Rectory Road with the winner going to the top of the table. In Division Two, champions Halstead welcome Springfield to Star Stile – the visitors needing to win to have any chance of claiming the second promotion place. Eight Ash Green welcome Abberton to Fordham Heath, the Lions looking for a win to take their survival hopes to the final game. In Division Three, Stebbing finish their campaign at Real Oddies, with a win sealing promotion for them. Third placed Kelvedon can win the title if they win their last two games, and will looking to pass their first test as they host Great Horkesley & Lexden at Rye Mill Lane.