North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 12 - July 2

A number of one sided matches over the weekend, and of course the customary concessions. In Division One, there were big wins for leaders Wivenhoe at home to Clacton, and for Mistley at Great Horkelsey & Lexden. The other scheduled game between Colchester & E.E. and Elmstead is to be re-scheduled for later in the season. In Division Two, Great Totham took the derby honours with a comprehensive win over Witham. The top two in Division Three, both won to open up a small gap on the chasing teams, Springfield revenging there only reverse of the season at Abberton, while Galleywood were winners at Kelvedon. Cavaliers were victors down at Harwich, but both sides remain ensconced in the relegation zone. There was a shock in Division Four, Coggeshall could have gone top but were defeated by lowly Tendring in the closest game of the weekend. The other game saw Great Braxted & Tiptree thump Boxted. T20 action on Sunday saw Braintree defeat 7 Para in the West Division, while Coggeshall’s concession to 7 Para on Wednesday evening sees the champions exit the competition at the group stage. The game in the T20 East Division between Ipswich and Great Bentley was conceded last weekend by the visitors.
Individually, the headlines belong to Wivenhoe pair, Liam Hope-Shackley (113no) who scored the only century of the weekend, while skipper Matt Durrell became the first batsmen to 500 NECL runs, when compiling 67. Bowling performance of the weekend came from Braintree’s Geoff Eveling who returned 4 for 17 in his side’s T20 success over 7 Para. Galleywood's wicketkeeper Josh Felton had a good afternoon at Kelvedon, claiming 5 dismissals, 4 catches and 1 stumping.

Division One
The Wivenhoe train continues to steam on as they recorded their seventh straight win to remain unbeaten at the top of Division One. Relegation threatened Clacton were the visitors to Rectory Road on Sunday, and after winning the toss elected to bat. With all the top order getting starts the visitors were able to post a seemingly competitive total of 214 for 6. Kieron Parkes (44) top scored, while there were useful contributions from Daniel Smith (35) and Haydn Erfuth (33). Wivenhoe skipper Matt Durrell was the pick of the bowlers (2 for 33), although there was a brace for Ross Evers (2 for 70), although a little more expensive. Wivenhoe lost Jordan Nicholls cheaply, before Durrell (67) and Liam Hope-Shackley set about the run chase. Durrell became the first player to top 500 runs in the NECL this season, while Hope-Shackley went through to his second century of the season with an unbeaten 113 as Wivenhoe raced to an eight wicket success in just 22.3 overs.

Mistley were comprehensive winners at Great Horkesley & Lexden in the other game in Division One. After being inserted by the hosts, the Swans made rapid progress largely through James Stamatis who smashed 55 from 27 balls in an opening stand of 65. Graeson Laitt (2 for 33 from 9) made the breakthrough, and with Naveed Maan (4 for 46 from 9) stemmed the flow of runs. However, an unbeaten seventh wicket stand of 118, between Adrian Stockton, with a run a ball 65, and a more aggressive unbeaten 85 from 37 balls, including eight sixes, from Tim Scott saw Mistley up to an imposing 287 for 6. Dylan Day (2 for 9) and Owen Clover (3 for 23) then quickly had the Saxons on the backfoot as they slipped to 38 for 6. Only Paul Hart (14) and Graeson Laitt (10) reached double figures, as Richard Uren (3 for 14 from 7) entered the attack to polish off the innings as Great Horkesley & Lexden were dismissed for 78.

Division Two
After four successive defeats there was a much needed win for Great Totham, in their derby match with Witham at Bull Meadow. It was a solid batting performance by the home side that saw them up to their total of 245 for 8. George Baron (54) led the way with a half century, but there were useful knocks from Ryan Kennedy (37), Josh Chadwick (33) and Stuart Pearson (31). Ben Tinham (2 for 40) and Stuart Facey (2 for 41) both claimed a pair of wickets each for Witham. In reply, only skipper Carl Bragg (65) posted any score of significance, with over half of the Witham score as they were bowled out for 124 in the 28th over. George Davis (3 for 22) and James Pook (3 for 23) causing the major damage for Totham, while keeper Logue claimed three catches.

Division Three
Leaders Springfield overcame a potential banana skin at The Brow, by avenging the reverse that Abberton had imposed on them at Coronation Park earlier in the season. The Lions batted first and after losing the prolific Jon Ward (17) fairly cheaply, made good progress through George Arnold and Chris Pettit (22), the pair putting on 95 for the second wicket. Martin Southwell then entered the attack and bowled a decisive spell which returned 4 for 32 from 9, including the wicket of Arnold (75). Nick Allflatt (24) was the only other player to pass twenty, as Abberton closed at 192 for 7. A century third wicket stand, between Ollie Prudence (95) and Noah Pothen (45) effectively put the game to bed, despite a steady spell from Will House (3 for 38), as Springfield eased to a six wicket success with almost four overs in hand.

Galleywood kept their interest in the title on the boil with a 48 run win at Kelvedon, although only a late order fight back helped them post a competitive score. Wickets for George Barton and Charlie Watts (2 for 5) at the beginning had put the visitors in trouble early on, and when Thata Tshose, Will Wilton-Steer and James Horslen all claimed middle order wickets the visitors were in distinct trouble. However, Tom Moss (37) and Clay Westwood (20), and a couple of unbeaten cameos from Zack Hicks (11no) and Sam Adams (13no) got Galleywood up to 165 for 8. Barton (3 for 32) returned to claim the wickets of both Moss and Westwood. The consistent Ed King (43) scored well at the top of the Kelvedon order, but with all the Galleywood bowlers putting in useful stints and backed up by the wicket keeping explots of Josh Felton (4 catches and 1 stumping), only Thata Tshose (32) could score any other innings of note. Tom Moss (4 for 26 from 9) backed up his top score with the bat, while there was a pair of wickets each for Dan McIntyre (2 for 17 from 7) and Zack Hicks (2 for 39 from 6).

The bottom two played the proverbial forty pointer, with ten man Cavaliers running out winners by 44 runs at Harwich. The Cavaliers innings was dominated by Noman Jalib (80), supported by Rakheel Akhlaq (27) in a fourth wicket stand of 86. A late flourish from Neville Davidson (35), which included an eighth wicket stand of 42 from 21 balls with Dan Young, saw them reach 212 all out in the final over. Harvey Bennett (3 for 34) and Luke Hammett (2 for 42) were the most successful of the Harwich bowlers. In reply, Brandon Carter (30) and Nev Mathur (28) got the home side off to a steady start with a half century stand, before Raouf Rasheed (3 for 49) and Prakash Kannan (4 for 25 from 9), bowled decisive spells. Nick Stevens (45) and Harvey Bennett (20no) added some late order runs to get Harwich up to their total of 168 for 9.

Division Four
There was an upset in Division Four, with Coggeshall poised to go top at lowly Tendring, they slumped to a two wicket defeat and slip to third in the table. Although the top four batsmen for Coggeshall reached double figures, no one could top opener Ben Speakman (24) and with wickets falling all too regularly the Cockerels found themselves in trouble at 101 for 8. All seven Tendring bowlers claimed wickets, with Daniel Gibson (3 for 32) and Jacob Kelly (2 for 10) the most successful, while keeper Ian Wilkinson also had a profitable afternoon behind the stumps with three catches. Number ten Lorcan McCabe (30no from 27 balls) hit a crucial innings for the visitors to get them up to a middling total of 143. Joe Robinson (19) and Jacob Kelly (24) seemingly had control of the Tendring reply as they reached 63 for 2. However, a clatter of wickets instigated by George Morris (4 for 38) and Kane Addison (1 for 12 from 6) saw the home side slip to 94 for 7, and when that became 113 for 8 the winning line seemed a long way away. Enter Ian Wilkinson who showed no nerves, smashing an unbeaten 33 from 29 balls, including two sixes to share an unbeaten ninth wicket stand of 31 with Daniel Gibson (5no) to see Tendring to just their second success of the campaign.

Great Braxted & Tiptree playing their first game in six weeks scored a resounding victory over Boxted at Cage Lane. An entertaining first over saw GBT opener Lee Howe dropped twice off the bowling of Gary Percival, who later claimed both openers on his way to figures of 2 for 28 from 9. Toby Taylor (48 from 37 balls) and Mark Stefanini a more sedate 55 from 69 balls then built a solid third wicket stand of 57 to take the visitors to 92 for 2 in the 14th over and provide a sound base for a big total. Solid middle order knocks from Tommy Hummerstone (34), Rob Hill (32) and a rapid unbeaten 29 from 17 balls from Sam Yeates saw GBT up to their total of 245 for 7. Kye Hayden (2 for 51) also claimed two wickets for Boxted, while Charlie Harris (1 for 17 from 7) bowled relatively economically in the context of the innings. In reply, Boxted never really got into the run chase, their top five batsmen all reaching double figures, but only Chris Humphrey (24) passing twenty. The wickets were shared around, with six GBT bowlers claiming wickets, of which debutant Chris Kitley (2 for 35), Sam Yeates (2 for 28) and A Gwilliams (2 for 9) claimed a brace each. Gwilliams also run out Charlie Harris (17) with a direct throw from the boundary, when the batsman was going well, while Michael Benton took an excellent one handed catch at mid wicket to dismiss Percival. Extras eventually top scored in the Boxted innings with 26, of which 22 were byes, as the home side were bowled out in 37th over for 134.

T20 –West
Wednesday night concession by Coggeshall at 7 Para RHA, saw the champions exit the competition at the Group Stage, having completed their programme with just one win.

On Sunday afternoon, 7 Para RHA were back in action as they hosted Braintree at the Garrison Ground. Batting first the Dolphins scored at over a run a ball in their twenty overs, with the most important partnership coming between Daniel Chalk (34) and Geoff Eveling (29), the pair putting on 71 for the fourth wicket. James Walker-Mcclimmens (3 for 26) and Colin Humphreys (3 for 45) were the most successful of the Army bowlers, as Braintree closed at 154 for 7. The home side were soon in trouble as Gareth Fisher (2 for 6) reduced them to 7 for 2. Thereafter, despite double figures scores from Humphreys (13), Ben Cadman (19 from 22), Ben Griffiths (19 from 18) and Walker-Mcclimmens (11), Braintree were always in control. Geoff Eveling backed up his batting performance by returning 4 for 17 from his three overs, as 7 Para were bowled out in the 18th over for 97.

T20 – East
Ipswich’s final group game on Sunday ended in the same way as their previous three, with no play as one of the sides conceded. This week it was Great Bentley.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Liam Hope-Shackley 113 * Wivenhoe v. Clacton

Josh Felton 5 dismissals (4cts and 1 st) Galleywood v. Kelvedon

NECL Performance of the Week nominations
Tim Scott 85* off 37 balls Mistley v. Great Horkesley & Lexden   36%
Geoff Eveling 29 & 4 for 17 Braintree v. 7 Para in T20   25%
Liam Hope-Shackley 113* Wivenhoe v. Clacton   23%
Tom Moss 37 & 4 for 26 Galleywood v. Kelvedon  16%

Next Week
There is T20 action on both Thursday and Friday evening this week. On Thursday, the winners of the Mistley v Wivenhoe game in the East Division will almost certainly progress to Finals Day. On Friday in the West Division, Kelvedon will be looking for victory at home to 7 Para to get them into position for qualifying. On Sunday, Division One leaders Wivenhoe head to Mile End to take on Great Horkesley & Lexden, third placed Frinton travel to Mistley, while Colchester & East Essex make the trip to Eight Ash Green. In Division Two, second placed Halstead will be looking to bounce back from their first reverse of the season last time out, as they host Great Totham, while there are important games at the bottom of the division, as Ardleigh host Witham and Stebbing welcome Gosfield. In Division Three, the top two both have home fixtures this coming weekend, with Springfield hosting Kelvedon, while Galleywood welcome Harwich and Dovercourt. The Cavaliers v Abberton game will hopefully go ahead, although a venue is still to be found, following the intrusion of travellers at the Rugby Club. Two big games in Division Four, one at the top, one at the bottom, could go a long way to deciding the fate of the title and the wooden spoon. Braintree welcome Coggeshall, with both sides looking to get back to winning ways after surprising defeats in their previous fixtures. While at the bottom Great Horkesley & Lexden welcome Tendring to Mile End.