North Essex Cricket League

It seems a long time ago that we were despairing of the ‘Beast from the East’, as the prolonged heat wave continued into first weekend of July. Thankfully, all nine matches went ahead with no concessions, although the heat appears to have tipped one team over the edge, as Great Totham conceded their match against Braintree with eight overs remaining ! Great Horkesley & Lexden should be commended for their effort in Division Three, playing with eight men and claiming seven points at Boxted, after being subjected to a hot afternoon in the field first. In Division One, there were wins for Clacton and Copdock & OI, the former climbing up to second place. In Division Two, unbeaten leaders Halstead made it five from five, while second placed Springfield are not letting up on the chase with an eight wicket win at Eight Ash Green. Braintree claimed their first win of the season, with victory over Great Totham, in what is probably a first for the North Essex Cricket League – a team walking off. In Division Three, it is a magnificent seven for leaders Stebbing, who strolled to victory at West Bergholt. Cavaliers are a distant second, following a seven wicket success over Coggeshall, while Boxted claimed the win in the bottom of the table clash. In the T20 West division, Little Bardfield Village started their 2018 campaign with an impressive eight wicket victory over previously unbeaten Kelvedon & Feering, whom must now wait for the outcome of other results to see if they progress. Individually there were four centuries this week, with three coming at Halstead – Joe Morris (110) and Josh King (112no) scoring maiden centuries for Halstead, and Michael Godwin (108) responding for Witham. At Boxted veteran opener Steve Philpott (105) posted three figures in his sides win over Great Horkesley & Lexden. Only the one fiverfor, came from Clacton’s Bradley Pitts (5 for 47) in their win over Mistley, while there were four wicket performances from Springfield’s Martin Southwell (4 for 3), Braintree’s Joel Ainsley (4 for 33) and Prakash Day (4 for 35) of Boxted in their sides respective wins.

Read more: Week 11 (July 1st) - Magnificent seven for Stebbing in Division Three

Just the two games could compete against the attraction of a thrilling World Cup match between England and Panama ! Has to be said the one wicket victory by England to make it 5-0 over Australia was more of a sporting spectacle. Four of the games scheduled for Sunday, have been re-arranged for later in the season. Braintree conceded their T20 West match at Coggeshall. While in the 40 over competition there was a first win of the season for Abberton in Division Two, at home to Chappel & Wakes Colne, while in Division Three, Cavaliers have gone second following their victory over Boxted. On Thursday evening there were two games in the T20 East Division, with Colchester & E.E making the headlines with a seven wicket victory over champions Wivenhoe. Mistley started their campaign with a 165 run victory over 7 Para. The standout individual performance of the week belonged to Colchester & E.E Michael Cursons who struck a forty ball century in the sides T20 victory over Wivenhoe, eventually ending undefeated on 109. Mistley’s Stuart Dove also recorded a T20 century with 106 against 7 Para. Matthew Bibby claimed the best bowling performance of the week in the same game for Mistley, returning 5 for 3, which included a hat trick.

Read more: Week 10 (June 24th) - Cursons forty ball century sees T20 champions Wivenhoe defeated

A full programme in Division Two saw Halstead extend their winning start to four with a ten wicket victory at Braintree. Second placed Springfield and third place Witham remain in close contention, following wins at Chappel & Wakes Colne and Eight Ash Green respectively. While Abberton remain bottom following a defeat at Great Totham. In Division Three, Stebbing are the only unbeaten side left, recording their sixth straight win over previously unbeaten Kelvedon. Real Oddies are up to second following a home success against Cavaliers, and there was a first win of the campaign for West Bergholt courtesy of a Great Horkesley & Lexden concession, who remain rooted to bottom of the table. The one game in Division One, saw Copdock concede their home game to Clacton. The T20 East Division got underway on Thursday, with champions Wivenhoe running up 247 for 0 in their win over 7 Para. The army side were back in action on Sunday, in a three way festival at Castle Park, and came second against both Colchester and Ipswich, while the final match between the two winners during the day ended in a tie. There were individual centuries, for Brendan Louw (123no) and Jakob Kelly (103no) for Wivenhoe in their T20 game with 7 Para, while on Sunday Forster Mutizwa posted the second highest score of the season with an unbeaten 170 for Witham against Eight Ash Green. Springfield’s Noah Pothen (110no) scored the fourth century of the week in his sides victory over Chappel & Wakes Colne.

Read more: Week 9 (June 17th) - Halstead and Stebbing remain unbeaten, and a T20 thriller at Castle Park

Not often you see all the home sides win in a week in the NECL, but the maximum points went to all eight home sides this weekend. Most of the action this week came in the third division with a full programme scheduled, however, leaders Stebbing picked up an easy twenty points following Coggeshall’s concession, to reach 100 points for the season. Real Oddies are up to second following an easy victory over winless West Bergholt, Cavaliers are third with a six wicket win over eight man Great Horkesley & Lexden, while Kelvedon remain unbeaten after they crushed Boxted. In Division One, Mistley eased to a nine wicket success over second placed Colchester & East Essex at New Road. In Division Two, Witham are up to third after winning their derby match with Great Totham in comprehensive fashion, while there was a tighter affair at Eight Ash Green, where the hosts overcame visitors Chappel & Wakes Colne by 11 runs. In the T20, there is a first win this season for Coggeshall who beat Galleywood by 17 runs. Individually, there were three centuries this week all coming in Division Three, Ryan Vickery (113) and Dan Wheeler (104no) for Kelvedon, and Toby Nickell-Lean (101no) for Great Horkesley & Lexden. Just the single fiverfer came from Galleywood’s Sam Adams in the T20 game against Coggeshall, where he claimed 5 for 33.

Read more: Week 8 (June 10th) - Victory for all eight home sides, as Stebbing reach a century of points

A disappointing week which saw yet another withdrawal from the NECL, significantly, Division One side Elmstead, the all too well known reason being cited, player availability on a Sunday. If there are any ideas out there to make the Sunday game more appealing, particularly to the younger age groups, apart from T20 which is already on offer, then please get in touch with the Exec Committee.
On the field of play, the sun did shine for the majority of the day, and eight matches reached their conclusion. In Division One, Galleywood have their second win of the campaign following a home victory over Clacton. In Division Two, Halstead are back on top of the pile with a seven wicket victory over Abberton, Great Totham were convincing winners at home to Eight Ash Green, while closest finish of the day came at Witham, where visitors Chappel & Wakes Colne prevailed by four runs. In Division Three, there appears to be no stopping Stebbing who made it four out of four with a five wicket win at Boxted, elsewhere, there were first victories of the season for Cavaliers by nine wickets over West Bergholt, and for Real Oddies by 87 runs over Great Horkesley & Lexden. Just one of the two scheduled T20 matches in the West Division took place, Braintree were unable to raise a side for their home game with Little Bardfield Village – the sides are looking to re-arrange, but if it is not possible the game will be recorded as a Braintree concession. On the pitch, Kelvedon are virtually assured of their second Finals Day appearance following an 11 run win over 2016 champions Coggeshall at Rye Mill Lane. Individually there was just one century, with Ashok Sharma recording an unbeaten 139 for Real Oddies, James Banks of West Bergholt was unlucky to miss out, scoring 98 out of his teams total of 128.

Read more: Week 7 (June 3rd) - Halstead and Stebbing remain unbeaten, as Elmstead withdraw

Just the five games in the NECL on a pleasant Bank Holiday Sunday. In Division One, leaders Wivenhoe made it three wins on the bounce with a 135 run win at home to Mistley. Colchester & E.E and Clacton served up the competitions first tied match in four seasons at Castle Park. In Division Two, Charlie Prudence did not get a century, but his Springfield side went back to the top of table with victory over Chappel & Wakes Colne. The only game in Division Three, saw Coggeshall run out winners at West Bergholt, in a high scoring game. Finally, Kelvedon & Feering are on the cusp of qualification for the T20 Finals Day after recording their second win in the West Division, with a 20 run success over T20 debutants Galleywood.
Individually, there were three centurions this week, with Wivenhoe’s Matt Durrell (127) scoring his second century of the season. Elsewhere Alisdair Marlow (111no) for Coggeshall and Andrew Kennedy (102) for Colchester & E.E. reached three figures.

Read more: Week 6 (May 27th) - Colchester & Clacton serve up a tie at the Park