North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 22 - September 8 - Clacton are NECL champions, Great Totham claim Division 3 title

Clacton are NECL champions for the first time since 2007, following a 97 run victory over Mistley at Vista Road on Sunday. Tom Sinclair with 134 was the stand out performer for the Seasiders. Champions Wivenhoe did all they could, but defending the championship depended on a Mistley win at Clacton. They won by 60 runs to claim the Runners Up spot. In Division Three, Great Totham are champions following a nervous three wicket win at home to West Bergholt. Joe Davis claimed 5 for 30 for Totham, and then played a significant part in the run chase with an unbeaten 47. Sudbury are also promoted, while Great Horkesley & Lexden miss out despite winning on Sunday, Shaakir Ahmed scoring his fourth century of the campaign in the game with Eight Ash Green. In Division Two, the championship picture is still fairly cloudy, with any one of three teams now in the frame. Leaders Springfield were beaten by three wickets at Stebbing, which secured Stebbing’s survival in Division 2. Meanwhile, Kelvedon closed the gap to three points following a 59 run win over Witham, which saw the visitors relegated. Kelvedon meet Springfield at Rye Mill Lane with the winners taking the title, however, if the game is cancelled then Cavaliers will be champions as they have already benefitted from an early Witham concession.

 

Clacton celebrated their first top flight NECL title since 2007 with a 97 run win over Mistley. Winning the toss and electing to bat, Clacton reached 70 for 3, with Tom Sinclair (41no) dominating the innings. A fourth wicket stand of 102 between Sinclair and Matt O’Brien (43) saw Clacton reach 172 for 4 with ten overs remaining. David Fitzpatrick hit a run a ball unbeaten 33, as Sinclair passed his century in a 61 run fifth wicket partnership, before falling for an excellent 134 from 102 balls, which included fourteen fours and six sixes. Clacton eventually closed at 257 for 6. Tim Scott (2 for 34 from 9) was the pick of the bowlers for the Swans. In reply, Sam Burkitt (36) and George Hutton (40) put on an opening stand of 76, before both succumbed to the bowling of Billy Occleshaw (3 for 41). A miserly spell from skipper Kieron Parkes (2 for 21 from 9) in the middle of the reply saw Clacton take control of the innings, eventually restricting Mistley to 160 for 8, with Adrian Stockton (30) the only other player to really trouble the scorer. Imran Sheikh (2 for 32) was the other wicket taker for the victorious Clacton side.

Wivenhoe claimed a top two finish for the fourth season running, their 60 run win at home to Galleywood seeing the 2017 & 2018 champions climb above Colchester & E.E. Wivenhoe batted first and posted 247 for 6 from their 40 overs, with half centuries for William Kerr (59), Jordan Nicholls (58no) and Jamie Barry (59). Josh McFaull (2 for 42) and J Hrusa (2 for 48) both claimed a pair of wickets for Galleywood. James Adams (51) and Charlie Murray (47) gave the visitors an encouraging start, before both fell to Jordan Nicholls (2 for 40). James Butcher (3 for 22 from 9) then bowled a decisive spell, and with only Tim Dethridge (22), Paul Marlow (20) and Conor Hicks (18 reaching double figures the Galleywood innings faltered. Liam Fields (2 for 20) pick up a pair of wickets, as Galleywood were dismissed for 187.

In Division Two leaders Springfield travelled to Stebbing for a re-arranged game from the World Cup Final date. Springfield were the designated home team, and a win would have taken them to the brink of the Division 2 title. However, Stebbing with a win themselves could stave off any outstanding relegation fears. Batting first Springfield were restricted to 165 for 7, with Shan Thevasakayam (43) and Noah Pothen (41) scoring half of the runs. Stephen Heywood (2 for 14) and Harry Gallian (2 for 21) were the most successful of the home bowlers. When Stebbing’s turn came to bat Graham Bird (21) reached double figures at the top of the order, but there was little from anyone else as the home side stumbled to 108 for 7. Alan Warley (3 for 41 from 9) and wickets each for Jamie Trim (1 for 21), Shan Thevasakayam (1 for 28), Ted Ashurst (1 for 13 from 7) and Martin Southwell (1 for 28) seeing the title challengers into a position of authority. However, at this point Stephen Heywood was joined by Harry Gallian, and the pair conspired to put on an unbeaten 59 to see Stebbing home by 3 wickets with 10 balls to spare. Heywood was undefeated on 68, while Gallian scored an unbeaten 31, which ensured that Stebbing will play Division 2 cricket next season.

On the back of Springfield’s defeat, Kelvedon made good ground on the leaders with a 58 run success at home to Witham, which due to Stebbing’s win relegated the visitors. Ed King (58 from 46 balls) continued his good form to give Kelvedon a solid start, but it was a fourth wicket stand of 114 between Alan Cookson (40no) and Mark Cottee (69) that eventually propelled Kelvedon to their total of 218 for 5. Sean Cleverdon (3 for 41) and Luke Brown (2 for 50) were the Witham wicket takers, while Ollie Cooke (0 for 29 from 9) bowled economically but went wicketless. Michael Godwin (49) scored well at the top of the order as Witham began their reply, but only Joe Allen (32no) and Luke Brown (22) topped twenty as Witham posted 159 for 9. Matt Sexton (3 for 9) and William Rice (2 for 34) made light work of the lower order, after Ryan Sleet (1 for 30 from 9) and Lewis Cookson (1 for 19 from 8) had bowled effectively at the start of the innngs.

Great Totham are Division Three champions but they were made to work for their title, as West Bergholt gave them a scare at Bull Meadow. Batting first West Bergholt posted 184 for 9 from their 40 overs, with Dom Norman (29), Arnav Thayur (44), Matt Elmakahleh (36) and Owen Jones (21) all putting in useful efforts. Joe Davis (5 for 30) and Daniel Quartermaine (3 for 26) shared the majority of the wickets. In reply Drew Whiting (48) made a positive start for Totham, but excellent bowling from Joe Smith (2 for 45), Shiraz Amin (1 for 21) and Matt Elmakahleh (3 for 46) then reduced the home side to 111 for 7, with 11 overs remaining. Significantly, the three main West Bergholt bowlers had bowled out, and Sam Bowen and Joe Davis were more than capable of punishing the bad balls from the change bowlers to motor along towards the target. Davis played the anchor role rotating the strike and minimising the dot balls to score an unbeaten 47, while Bowen was much more the aggressor, hitting four fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 40, as the pair put on an unbroken eighth wicket stand of 74 to see Totham claim their first NECL title since a Division Six title back in 1993.

After their disastrous result last week Great Horkesley & Lexden had to win their last two games and hope for a slip up from Great Totham to claim the second promotion spot. On Sunday at Eight Ash Green, they were back to their fluent best with the bat with Shaakir Ahmed (123) again dominating the innings, with his fourth century of the season. Shaun Hassan (36) gave him major support in a third wicket stand of 121, while Jon Jones (30) cajoled the tail into getting the Saxons up to their total of 255 for 7. Jens Wair (2 for 38) and Matt Murray (2 for 34) both picked up a pair of wickets for Eight Ash Green. Tidy spells from Paul Hart (2 for 26 from 9) and Jon Jones (2 for 17 from 9) put the visitors into the ascendancy, despite opener Tom Lee (33) out of an opening stand of 40, showing early fluency. Alex Hammond (52) and Sam Collins (33no) put on a fifth wicket stand of 46, but when Graeson Laitt (3 for 33) claimed the wicket of Hammond as his first wicket the innngs subsided and the Green were restricted to 154 for 8. Sadly for the Saxons, victory was academic following the Totham win, and they will be in Division Three next season.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Tom Sinclair 134 Clacton v. Mistley
Shaakir Ahmed 123 Great Horkesley & Lexden v. Eight Ash Green

Joe Davis 5 -- 30 Great Totham v. West Bergholt

Performance of the Week
Tom Sinclair 134 Clacton v. Mistley
Stephen Heywood 68no & 2-21 Stebbing v. Springfield
Shaakir Ahmed 123 Great Horkesley & Lexden v. Eight Ash Green
Joe Davis 5-30 & 47no Great Totham v. West Bergholt

Congratulations to West Bergholt’s Owen Jones whose 4 for 36 against Great Horkesley & Lexden won the vote for Performance of the Week last week.

Next Week
So the final week of the season, with just three games scheduled, of which one had already been conceded. Relegated Witham have conceded their game against Cavaliers, as their first team are involved in the EAPL Play Off semi final at Sawston & Brabham, on the same day, and most of Witham are on the coach to watch. So Cavaliers are now top of the table with 146 points. The other Division 2 fixture sees Kelvedon entertain Springfield in a winner takes all game – the winners will be champions. If the game is cancelled due to weather, then Cavaliers will be champions. If Kelvedon win and Springfield pick up eight bonus points then Kelvedon will be champions, and Springfield promoted, anything less than eight bonus points for Springfield will see Cavaliers promoted. If Springfield win, then they will be champions and Kelvedon will need to get the full ten bonus points to be promoted, otherwise Cavaliers promoted....all pretty straight forward ! The final game in Division Three, sees Great Horkesley & Lexden looking for revenge on West Bergholt for that horror result a couple of weeks back that scuppered their title aspirations.