North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 13 - July 9

The weather held fine for Week 13 of the NECL. In Division One, Wivenhoe made it eight from eight with a win at Great Horkesley and Lexden. At New Road, Mistley and Frinton played what could be the future of Sunday cricket, a nine a side game !, with Frinton running out big winners in a 30 over per side game. It was a lot closer at Eight Ash Green, where Colchester & East Essex prevailed by one run in a game that boasted 540 runs. In Division Two, Halstead got back to winning ways with a convincing win over Great Totham. However, the bottom two both failed to gain ground on Great Totham, with Ardleigh losing at home to Witham by 8 wickets, and bottom Stebbing defeated by 84 runs at home to Gosfield. Unfortunately, there were two concessions in Division Three, with the top two the beneficiaries. Springfield beat Kelvedon, while second placed Galleywood beat bottom side Harwich, who were deducted a further ten points for their second concession of the season. There was just one game in Division Four, with leaders Braintree defeating Coggeshall, with 15 year old Lee Fullgrabe starring for the Dolphins. Great Horkesley & Lexden 2nds had to provisionally concede to Tendring, but both sides are looking to re-arrange the fixture. Thursday evening action in the T20 East division saw Wivenhoe break the T20 record with a massive 268 for 8, in their win over Mistley, which sees them as the first side into Finals Day. In the other game in the Division scheduled for this coming Thursday, Great Bentley have already conceded to Colchester & E.E. In the West Division Kelvedon have leap frogged Braintree into the qualifying places, after 7 Para conceded their fixture on Friday.
Individually, there was just the one century this week, with Blake Reed of Frinton hitting an unbeaten 128 in his sides victory over Mistley, while Colchester’s Alex Berry just missed out with 96 against Eight Ash Green. There were two five wicket performances, with Justin Rose (6 for 27) for Gosfield against Stebbing the best. Wivenhoe’s James Sparling returned an impressive 5 for 16 in the T20 East game on Thursday. While in Division Four, all round performance of the week came from Braintree’s young Lee Fullgrabe, who backed up his 84 with a bowling spell of 4 for 34 in the top of the table win over Coggeshall.

Division One
Wivenhoe made it eight from eight on a lively wicket at Mile End, against Great Horkesley & Lexden. Wivenhoe won the toss and batted first, and the Saxons would have been buoyant after claiming the prolific Matt Durrell for a single figure score. However, Tom Durrell (45) and James Butcher (64) quickly burst that bubble with a second wicket stand of 112. Liam Hope-Shackley then smashed a 16 ball fifty on his way to 64, which included nine sixes to take the league leaders pass 200. Ross Evers (30no) supported by Euan Tickner (17) and Simon Bartlett (22) lifted the final score to 276 for 8. Shiraz Amin was the stand out bowler for the hosts with 3 for 43 from his nine overs, while Paul Hart also claimed three wickets in his nine for a slightly more expensive 77 runs. Tickner (2 for 29) and James Sparking (1 for 33) then reduced the Saxons to 29 for 3, before David Taylor (41) and Chris Rayner (51) put on a stand of 80 for the fourth wicket. The only other partnership of note came from Luke Conway (48) and Mohammed Ramali (25no) who put on 53 for the ninth wicket, and a last wicket partnership of 21 ensured the home side claimed maximum batting points, reaching 201 all out in the 34th over. James Butcher (3 for 39) was the most successful bowler for Wivenhoe.

Mistley and Frinton were both struggling for numbers in their match at New Road, with both sides limited to nine players each. The captains not wanting to subject their players to too much toil in the field agreed to a thirty over a side game. Frinton won the toss and took first knock, racking up an impressive 278 for 3, with Blake Reed leading the way with an unbeaten 128. He enjoyed century stands for both the first and second wicket. With Tom Sinclair (55) he put on 117 for the first wicket, and with Kemar Smith (59) he put on 100 for the second wicket. In reply, James Stamatis hit a rapid 61 from 34 balls in an opening stand of 77, however, Blake Reed (2 for 38) and Kemar Smith (2 for 32) then made progress through the middle order. Bruce Leeke hit a defiant unbeaten 62 from 39 balls, but with Tom Sinclair (3 for 18) claiming late order wickets the Swans were bowled out for 165 in the 26th over. 

There was a much closer game at Fordham Heath where Eight Ash Green suffered the heart break of a one run defeat having made an excellent effort of chasing Colchester & East Essex 271 for 8. Alex Berry played the anchor role in the Colchester innings, supplemented by aggressive middle order knocks from Ollie Lovejoy (46 from 32 balls) and Greg Stephens (45 from 31 balls) that saw the town side recover from 56 or 3 to 189 for 5. Berry himself was unlucky not to make a century when he was run out by Alex Hammond on 96. Some short cameos by Keir Young, Mike Wrathall and Krishi Verma saw Colchester up to their tea time total of 271 for 8. All the Eight Ash Green bowlers claimed a wicket, with the best return being that of Matt Parker (2 for 38 from 9), while Jens Wait also claimed three catches in the field. In reply, the Green lost Steve Nunn for a duck, before James Parker (56) and Alex Hammond (68) built a second wicket stand of 109 to put the hosts back in the game. Jake Harris (21) and Richard Nunn (12) edged the score towards 200, while Ben Richards (3 for 40) claimed three middle order wickets. Andrew Woodhouse (59 from 51) in a seventh wicket stand of 68 with Matt Murray (9), took the game to Colchester and got the Green to within striking distance of victory. However, he was bowled by Oliver Allison (2 for 54) which signalled the start of a collapse that saw the last four wickets fall for 4 runs. Greg Stephens (2 for 27) also had a hand in the finish, while Matt Murray (12) was run out off the final ball.

Division Two
Halstead got back to winning ways in the NECL Division Two with a resounding win over Great Totham. Sam Chapman (68) and Taylor Nicholson (56) put on 103 for the second wicket after Ben Roper (4) fell early to James Pook. It was the former's maiden half-century in a Halstead shirt. Harry Cooper (8-0-50-4) turned the tide in Totham's favour, helped by a stunning caught and bowled from George Davis to reduce the hosts to 147-6. Sam Walter (69*) and Callum Hansey (45) then added 105 for the 8th wicket, with the latter hitting three sixes before falling to Pook as the hosts finished on 265-7. Totham started their reply positively with Josh Chadwick and Cailcan Kinsella scoring freely.
Hansey bowled Chadwick for a run-a-ball 31 before a superb over the shoulder catch from Joe Morris gave Sam Johnson his first wicket, dismissing Kinsella for 24. Adam Morris took a similarly impressive catch to his brother to give Hansey a second wicket before he bowled Pook (18) to finish with figures of 9-1-29-3. Ben Roper (5.2-1-16-3) and Joe Morris (5-0-11-3) gave the Totham middle-order little chance of meeting their target as the game wound down to a comfortable Halstead victory as the visitors were bowled out for 112.

Ardleigh and Witham were two more sides without their full complement of players, playing a ten a side game. Ardleigh made good progress with an opening stand of 66 between Kurt Lamont and Tim Harvey (29). Lamont went onto top score with 72, before becoming third man out on 120. Peter Cook (22) pushed Ardleigh past 150, while Michael Godwin (3 for 39) was the pick of the Witham bowlers. Ardleigh closed at 165 for 7. In reply Godwin (28) dominated an opening stand of 38 with Ollie Cooke, before Cooke (52) and Carl Bragg put on 88 for the second wicket to put Witham firmly in control. Bragg went on to score an unbeaten 55, as Witham eased to an eight wicket success with almost ten overs in hand.

It was seemingly a family affair at Stebbing, where the Rose’s for Gosfield, just out performed the Gallian’s of Stebbing. Gosfield took first knock, and after losing a couple of early wickets were indebted to brothers Andy (71) and Justin Rose (45) for the majority of their 40 over total of 181 for 8. Tom Gallian bowled an impressive nine over spell that returned 4 for 16, while Jason Gallian (2 for 16) was also amongst the wickets. In reply, Stebbing had no answer to an excellent spell of bowling from Justin Rose (6 for 27 from 9), which was backed up by an economical stint from Lewis Brennan (1 for 15 from 7). Jason Gallian (45) brought some respectability to the Stebbing effort, but the bottom club just failed to claim a solitary batting point as they were bowled out for 97. Morgan Whymark bowling a clinical eight balls at the end of the innings to claim figures of 3 for 0.

Division Three
Third placed Abberton turned up at a traveller free Rugby Club to play lowly Cavaliers, with nine men, which became eight men towards the end of the Cavaliers innings, when keeper Steve Cowland was struck by the ball and had to make a trip to A&E for stitches to an eye wound. Ten man Cavaliers batted first and seemed well placed as a second wicket stand of 53 between Sid Pillalamarri (53) and Prakash Kannan (29 from 34) saw them to 87 for 2. However, wickets then began to fall, and only an unbeaten 31 from Dan Young and a generous amount of extras (37) saw the Cavs up to their total of 168 all out. There was a brace of wickets each for Chris Pettit (2 for 25), Mark Johnson (2 for 41), David Schofield (2 for 37) and James Carroll (2 for 5). In reply, young George Arnold (50) dominated the top order for the Lions, but when he was dismissed by Craig Finch (2 for 52) and Carroll was run out shortly afterwards there was still work to be done with just three wickets in hand. Skipper Chris Pettit (24no) and Ryan Savill (53no) eased any concerns as Abberton proceeded to a six wicket success with fourteen overs in hand.

The other two games in Division Three were both conceded by the travelling sides, Kelvedon at leaders Springfield, while Harwich could not face the long trip to second placed Galleywood. Unfortunately, for bottom side Harwich their concession was their second of the season so result in a further ten point deduction which has cut them adrift at the foot of the table.

Division Four
Braintree and Coggeshall had both suffered surprise defeats in their respective previous outings, but served up a good game at St Peters Road on Sunday. The Dolphins batted first, and made good progress, largely through Carl Lees (72) who was third man out with the score on 121. A fourth wicket stand of 129, between 15 year old Lee Fullgrabe (84) and Daniel Garner saw Braintree past 250, Garner eventually finishing unbeaten on 45 as the hosts closed at 262 for 4. Coggeshall made a good response with openers Ben Speakman (45) and Louis Gibson (58) getting them off to solid start. David Gibson (38) and Sam Docherty (47) continued the momentum, but with Calley Foyster (3 for 28) and Fullgrabe (4 for 34) completing an excellent all round game, the Cockerels were restricted to 228 for 8.

The match between Great Horkesley & Lexden 2nd and Tendring was povisionally conceded by Great Horkesley & Lexden, however, both clubs are looking at possible date to re-arrange the game.

T20 - East
Wivenhoe reached the T20 Finals day on Thursday with an impressive performance at previously unbeaten Mistley. Batting first after winning the toss, the Hoe went from it from the start with Liam Hope-Shackley (68 from 29 balls) and Scott Facey (43 from 22 balls) putting on 91 for the first wicket. Matt Durrell (38 from 22) and Harry Burnett (23 from 13) carried on the relentless onslaught, before a final flourish from Jordan Nicholls (38 from 16 balls) and Tom Durrell (19 from 11 balls) saw Wivenhoe up to a record innings score of 268 for 6. Simon Everett (2 for 26) was the most successful of the Swans bowlers, but there were some pretty bruising returns from the majority of the eight bowlers used. In reply, Mistley were reduced to 29 for 3, as Euan Tickner (3 for 35) claimed the early wickets. Tim Scott (28 from 12 balls) and Dylan Day (29 from 16) put on a rapid partnership of 33 for the fourth wicket, before James Sparling broke the partnership on his way to figures of 5 for 16, as Mistley were bowled out in 13th over for 120.

Great Bentley have conceded this coming Thursday’s game with Colchester & E.E, meaning that both remaining games in the Division will come into play to decide who proceeds to Finals Day with Wivenhoe.

T20 –West
Kelvedon have leap frogged Braintree into the qualifying places in the West Division, following 7 Para’s concession to them on Friday evening.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Blake Reed 128 * Frinton v. Mistley

James Sparling 5 -- 16 Wivenhoe v. Mistley
Justin Rose 6 -- 27 Gosfield v. Stebbing

NECL Performances of the Week at voted on Twitter (76 votes)
James Sparling 5 for 16 Wivenhoe v. Mistley T20      37%
15 yo Lee Fullgrabe 84 & 4 for 34 Braintree v. Coggeshall  34%
Justin Rose 6 for 27 Gosfield v. Stebbing  26%
Alex Berry 96 Colchester & E.E. v. Eight Ash Green in 1 run victory  3%

Next Week
Division One sees second placed Elmstead make the trip to coast as they play Clacton, while Mistley and Eight Ash Green will meet at New Road. In Division Two the game of the day, should see leaders Copdock & OI host their only conquerors this year so far, Chappel & Wakes Colne. Second placed Halstead make the trip to Stebbing, while Ardleigh will be looking for a change in fortune as they host Gosfield. There is a full programme in Division Three, concessions permitting, leaders Springfield welcome Cavaliers to Coronation Park. Second placed Galleywood travel to Chappel & Wakes Colne 2nds, while third placed Abberton host Kelvedon. Harwich & Dovercourt welcome West Bergholt in the final fixture. In Division Four, the top two are both at home, as Braintree welcome Great Braxted & Tiptree, and second placed Real Oddies host Boxted.