North Essex Cricket League

Warm sunshine greeted week 6 of the 2017 NECL season, after heavy rain in the week, so plenty of opportunity of seaming green tops. The closure of the A12 also caused a number of problems, particularly for those sides travelling south. In a packed Division One programme, the normal hierarchy prevailed, with wins for Wivenhoe, Colchester & E.E, Frinton and Mistley. Wivenhoe are now the only undefeated side, following a seven wicket win at previously unbeaten Elmstead. Division two saw Chappel & Wakes Colne maintain their unbeaten start following a concession by Gosfield. Copdock & OI are just behind the leaders, following a comfortable success at Great Totham, while Witham are fourth after a six wicket win at home to Ardleigh. Previously unbeaten Abberton suffered their first reverse of the season in Division Three, with a five wicket defeat at Galleywood. Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds skittled Cavaliers for 50, and went on to win by six wickets. The game between Springfield and West Bergholt was called off on Saturday evening with the Bergholt players not wishing to take their chance with the A12 closure. Springfield have sportingly offered an alternative date, but this will have to be ratified by the management committee.
In Division Four, Real Oddies maintained their unbeaten start with a 60 run win over Tendring. The game was hastily switched in an excellent effort to get the game on, with the Oddies ground being unfit for play. Boxted were winners at Great Braxted & Tiptree, while Rayne unfortunately had to concede for the second week running, which has resulted in a ten point deduction and sees them slip to the foot of the table. Coggeshall were the beneficiaries of the concession.
Individually there were two centurions, with James Stamatis of Mistley leading the way with 111 against Clacton. Boxted’s Richard Springett posted 110 in his sides win at Great Braxted & Tiptree. Despite the bowler friendly conditions there was just the one five wicket haul, going to the evergreen Robin Carter of Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds, who claimed 5 for 24 as his side routed Cavaliers. All round performance went to Danny McIntyre of Galleywood in his sides win at home to Abberton, he claimed 4 for 26 and then scored an unbeaten 47 in the run chase.

Read more: Week 6 - May 21

Early morning rain gave way to some glorious afternoon sunshine, but perhaps the dampness in the wickets put the bowlers in the ascendancy this weekend, with just a couple of scores over 200 and just the one century.
Unfortunately, there were three more concessions, bringing the season total to eight already in the 40 over competition. Furthermore, Eight Ash Green are the first side to be deducted points this season for not following the concession rules of notifying the Results Secretary by 10pm on the eve of the game, consequently their concession at Clacton sees them slip to the foot of Division One. The other concessions came in Division Four, where Braintree remain unbeaten in three, including two concessions in the last week, the latest by Great Braxted & Tiptree. Real Oddies also preserved their 100% start by benefitting from a Rayne concession. In Division One, Elmstead made it four out of four when they got the better of Great Horkesley & Lexden in tight encounter at Mile End. Division Two, saw Halstead continue to set the pace with a comfortable win over bottom of the table Ardleigh, while there was a thrilling finish at The Hobbies, with Chappel & WC remaining undefeated following a four run win over Copdock & OI. Gosfield thumped Great Totham, who were skittled for 59, while there was a first win for a youthful Stebbing in their home match with Witham. In Division Three, Abberton and Springfield predictably both secured wins against Cavaliers and Chappel & WC 2nds respectively, although in Springfield’s case the match was much closer than anticipated. West Bergholt’s match with Kelvedon was postponed, due to West Bergholt’s involvement in the National Village Cup, with the clubs looking for an alternative date to re-arrange the fixture. Unfortunately, for Bergholt the road to Lords has ended following a heavy defeat at Bentley. In Division Four, Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds winning run came to a halt with a home defeat to Coggeshall, while there was a first victory of the season for Boxted at Tendring.
Individually Louis Gibson (100) of Coggeshall posted the only century of the weekend, although father David (93) and the in form Charlie Prudence (90) of Springfield both posted good knocks. Luke Conway making his debut for Great Horkesley & Lexden had the Division One league leaders in trouble with a spell of 7 for 28, while Brad Richardson (5 for 30) had much to do with Great Totham’s demise. There was a good all round game for Chappel wicket keeper Zac Taylor, who backed up an important half century, with five dismissals in the field, in a four run win over Copdock.

Read more: Week 5 - May 14

Despite three concessions, there was some excellent cricket played in the thirteen NECL fixtures this weekend. Wivenhoe and Elmstead continue to lead the way in Division One, both completing excellent run chases to maintain their unbeaten starts. Frinton won the coastal derby with Clacton, running out winners by 11 runs. In Division Two, Halstead and Copdock kept the 100% starts going with home wins over Gosfield and Stebbing, while Chappel & Wakes Colne began their season with a win at Ardleigh. The other game between Witham and Great Totham was conceded by the visitors.

In Division Three, Abberton were comfortable winners at Chappel & WC 2nd, posting the first score over 300 this season. There was an opening day win for West Bergholt at Cavaliers, and Kelvedon scored their first win of the season with a big run chase against Harwich & Dovercourt. The Chelmsford derby day honours went to Springfield who were 19 run winners over Galleywood.
In Division Four, Braintree and Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds lead the way, with two wins out of two, Braintree gained their success by virtue of a Tendring concession, while the Saxons were comfortable winners at Rayne. Real Oddies started their season with a win, in a low scoring game at home to Great Braxted & Tiptree, while Coggeshall got back on track after losing their first game of the season with a big win over Boxted. Unfortunately, Ipswich’s debut in the T20 competition will have to wait, as they conceded their match at Mistley, leaving the Swans handily placed for qualification for Finals Day with two wins out of two.
Individually there were six centuries, four five wicket hauls and one hat trick. Stephen Nunn (151) of Eight Ash Green and Wivenhoe’s Liam Hope-Shackley (136no) both completed centuries in a high scoring fixture at Fordham Heath. Jordan Elliott’s (119no) second NECL century of the season steered his Elmstead side to victory. In Division Three, there were big centuries from Jonathan Ward (150) of Abberton, and Kelvedon’s Ed King (138no), while in Division Four Kane Addison scored 112 in Coggeshall’s win over Boxted. Real Oddies debutant Ashan Disanayake returned the best bowling figures of the week with 5 for 8, while Harry Carter took 5 for 10 and scored a half century in Chappel & Wakes Colne first’s win over Ardleigh. Stuart Bonvini of Kelvedon (5 for 14) and Ed Merry of Gosfield (5 for 55) were the other bowlers to go nap, while Boxted’s Matt Wilson claimed a hat trick on his way to 4 for 35 against Coggeshall.

Read more: Week 4 - May 7

The early May Bank Holiday weekend saw some outstanding individual performances, with three centuries, and another three scores in the nineties, as well as three six wicket hauls. Unfortunately, there were two concessions, as Clacton were unable to raise a side for their Division One visit to Colchester & E.E., and Stebbing did likewise to Halstead in Division Two.
In Division One, Colchester had a good weekend, claiming 40 points, with a win at champions Frinton on Monday, who are struggling even at this early stage to defend their title having lost their opening two games. Division Two, saw wins for Copdock & OI over Witham in a high scoring match, while Great Totham were convincing winners at home to Ardleigh. Down in Division Three two individual performances dominated the results, with Charlie Prudence scoring an unbeaten 198 in Springfield’s win at Kelvedon, while Abberton’s skipper Chris Pettit returned an impressive 6 for 1 in his sides nine wicket victory over Harwich & Dovercourt. Division Four newcomers Braintree opened their account with a three wicket win at home to Boxted, while a strong Great Horkelsey & Lexden second team heavily defeated previously unbeaten Tendring.
Individually, the other centurions were Copdock’s Harry Bailey (126) and Great Totham’s James Pook (120) against Ardleigh, and the other big bowling performances came in the same game as Olly Kendall (6 for 10) of Totham, and Ardleigh’s Kurt Lamont (6 for 48) both claimed six wickets.

Read more: Week 3 - April 30th & May 1st

Pleasant conditions saw seven matches across the NECL on Sunday. In Division One Elmstead and Wivenhoe continued their early pace setting, by recording their second wins of the season. Tendring also made it two from two with perhaps the team performance of the week, with an excellent run chase at Division Four favourites Coggeshall. In Division Two there was a close game at Gosfield, who secured a one wicket victory over Ardleigh, while Halstead were convincing six wicket winners at Great Totham. The opening match in Division Three saw a surprise as relegation favourites Cavaliers scored a six run success over Kelvedon at Rye Mill Lane. T20 action saw Mistley cruise to a 91 run success at Great Bentley in the East Division.

The first centuries of the new season, belonged to Coggeshall’s Louis Gibson with 117, and Elmstead’s Jordan Elliott 102. While James Stamatis of Mistley scored a near miss with an unbeaten 97 in the T20. Bowling performance of the week belonged to Halstead’s 18 year old Luke Robinson who took a hat trick on his way to a maiden five wicket haul of 6 for 14 against Great Totham.

Read more: Week 2 - April 23rd

Typically after a wonderfully warm Sunday last week, the opening matches of the 2017 NECL season were greeted by a cool northerly wind, and some rain mid afternoon. Thankfully, all three matches got through to their conclusion, with wins in Division One for Elmstead and Wivenhoe, and in Division Four for Tendring.

Read more: Week 1 - April 16th