Weekly Round-Up

Week 3 - April 30th & May 1st

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.

Division One
It was a forty point weekend for Colchester lifting them up to third place in Division One. On Sunday, Clacton conceded their game at Castle Park to gift Colchester the points. However, the Castle Park outfit overcame a much stiffer hurdle (on paper at least) at champions Frinton on Bank Holiday Monday. Due to the possibility of adverse weather, the game was reduced to 30 overs per side. Frinton batted first and posted 170 for 5, largely through the efforts of Barbadian Kemar Smith (78 from 66 balls), although there was support from Thomas Benn (17 – retired hurt) and Tom Sinclair (22) in the middle order. Jack Hebron (2 for 27) and Simon Fernandes (2 for 36) were the main wicket takers for Colchester. In reply, Henry Hebron (29) and Alex Berry put on 67 for the first wicket, and a second wicket stand between Jack Hebron (38) and Berry of 51 seemed to put the Colchester side on course for a comfortable victory. However, a flurry of wickets, including that of top scorer Berry (52) saw the visitors eventually get across the line with four wickets and four balls to spare, Feroze Ahmed (17 from 13 balls including 2 sixes) providing the final push to the Frinton total. Kemar Smith with 2 for 39 was the pick of the Frinton bowlers.

Division Two
A high scoring game at Copdock saw the hosts prevail by 55 runs over Witham. Batting first Harry Bailey (126) and 14 year old Dan Leggett (99) were the mainstay of the Copdock innings of 285 for 4. In reply, Mike Headley (92) and Michael Godwin (69) both put in decent knocks as Witham claimed all five batting points reaching 230 for 7. Copdock’s Steve Gauke was the pick of the home bowlers with a spell of 4 for 44.

Great Totham and Ardleigh were looking for their first success of the season at Bull Meadow, after both suffering defeats in their opening games. It was the hosts who were to prevail in emphatic fashion. Batting first after winning the toss, Totham made rapid progress largely through opener James Pook who smashed 120 from 66 balls, including seven maximums. He dominated a second wicket stand of 134 with Ben Ridge, who was 26no when Pook was dismissed on 177. Ridge went on to be second top scorer with 37, while skipper Paul Marks (31) also topped thirty. The ten men of Ardleigh did fight back in the latter stages of the innings, with Kurt Lamont (6 for 48) amongst the wickets as Totham slipped from 202 for 2 to their closing score of 255 for 9. In reply it was Olly Kendall who took the plaudits for the home side, as he claimed 6 for 10 from his seven overs, as Ardleigh collapsed to 88 all out, of which Tim Harvey top scored with 42.

Halstead are top of the division, without having to take the field following a concession by Stebbing.

Division Three
Abberton cemented their position as Division Three pre-season favourites as they started their campaign at The Brow with a nine wicket success over Harwich & Dovercourt. Harwich batted first after winning the toss, and were soon struggling against the accuracy of the reliable David Booker (1 for 6 from 5) and Andrew Sullivan (2 for 20). Recovery for the visitors came from skipper Lee Davis (16) and Harry Windred (15), before Lions skipper Chris Pettit introduced himself into the attack as fifth change bowler, and returned incredible figures of 6 for 1 from 4.4 overs. The visitors slumped to 72 all out in the 30th over. Abberton were in no mood for a protracted affair, and despite the early loss of Steve Cowland, raced to victory inside 15 overs, Nick Allflatt (40no) and Rickard Oaks (20no) sharing an unbeaten second wicket stand.

Another individual performance dominated proceedings at Kelvedon, where the visitors Springfield run up a massive 290 for 1 in their forty overs. Charlie Prudence dominated the Springfield innings with a season best of 198 not out, enjoying a first wicket stand of 127 with James Gooday (36) and an unbroken second wicket stand of 163 with Paul Aldworth (46no). In reply, the ten men of Kelvedon could only muster 98 for 7 from their 40 overs, with Martin Pope (33) and Jack Hyslop (20) the only players to top twenty. All the Springfield bowlers returned solid figures, with Jamie Trimm (2 for 7 from 7) the best, although a special mention should be given to two 14 year olds who put in excellent bowling spells, Ted Ashurst (1 for 17 from 8) and Tom Woodrough (2 for 25 from 9).

Division Four
Tendring’s tenure at the top of Division Four came to an abrupt end against the 2016 Wooden Spoonist’s Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds. A strong Saxons side batted first after winning the toss, and made a solid enough start with openers Anthony Shearman (28) and Alistair Manhire (22) putting on a half century stand for the first wicket. Ian Wilks claimed both their wickets on his way to figures of 2 for 42 from 9. A third wicket stand between Naveed Maan and Jon Jones (45) of 112, then put the visitors into the ascendancy. Maan continued the momentum after Jones had been dismissed and was unlucky not to score a century, returning a catch to Jonny Bickers (2 for 38), having scored 98. The Saxons closed their innings at 245 for 5. The hosts made a poor start, from which they never got into the run chase, being reduced to 16 for 3. Jack Bowden (41) was the only Tendring bat to make any noteable contribution to the team effort as they were bowled out for 116. Five Saxons bowlers claimed a brace of wickets each, with sixth change Jon Jones almost vulturesque, claiming 2 for 1 from his four overs, much to the chagrin of the real vulture Graeson Laitt (2 for 35) who took a little treatment in his six overs . Paul Hart (2 for 11), Allan Highfield (2 for 17) and Mohammed Ramali (2 for 33) were the other wicket takers.

Braintree made their first appearance in the NECL since 2002, when welcoming Boxted to their St Peters Road ground. After winning the toss the Dolphins elected to take to the field for their first encounter. Boxted made a steady start through Steve Philpott and Richard Springett (25) putting on 30 for the first wicket. Philpott then dominated the innings top scoring with 86, and enjoying a fourth wicket stand of 82 with Garry Green (28). Sam Lines (26no) cajoled the tail up to Boxted’s final score of 203 for 7. Joel Ainsley (3 for 27) was the pick of the Braintree bowlers. In reply, Guy Walton (44) dominated early on for the hosts, but the match winning partnership came from Matthew Hollingsworth (35) and Robbie Spalding (59) who put on 99 for the fourth wicket. Matthew Wilson (3 for 33) and Richard Springett (2 for 23) claimed five of the seven wickets to fall for Boxted, but with Rory Ainsley (17no) standing firm at the end, Braintree were able to get the job done with three wickets and four balls in hand.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Charlie Prudence 198 * Springfield v. Kelvedon
Harry Bailey 126 Copdock & OI v. Witham
James Pook 120 Great Totham v. Ardleigh

Chris Pettit 6 -- 1 Abberton v. Harwich & Dovercourt
Olly Kendall 6 -- 10 Great Totham v. Ardleigh
Kurt Lamont 6 -- 48 Ardleigh v. Great Totham

Performance of the Week as voted on Twitter (61 votes)
Chris Pettit 6 for 1 Abberton v. Harwich & Dovercourt 42%
Charlie Prudence 198* Springfield v. Kelvedon 31%
James Pook 120 Great Totham v. Ardleigh 16%
Dan Leggett 99 Copdock & OI v. Witham 11%

Next Week
A bumper week of cricket next weekend, with 30 of the 32 teams in the 40 over competition in action, leaving Great Horkesley & Lexden first eleven as the only team yet to play this season. Local rivalry will also be tested with four derbies to whet the appetite.
In Division One, pacesetters Wivenhoe make the trip to Eight Ash Green, who will start their 2017 campaign. Elmstead will have a real test of their table topping credentials as they host Colchester & E.E, while the coastal derby sees Frinton and Clacton, both looking for their first success of the season. In Division Two there is a full programme, with a couple of tasty derbies thrown in, Halstead welcome Gosfield, while Great Totham make the short trip to Witham. Elsewhere, Stebbing will be hoping for a full complement of players as they make the long trip to Copdock, and Chappel & Wakes Colne open their season with a trip to Ardleigh.
In Division Three, Abberton visit Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds, unbeaten Cavaliers welcome West Bergholt, and there is a tasty Chelmsford derby as Springfield host Galleywood. Kelvedon entertain Harwich with both sides looking for their first success of the season. In Division Four, Boxted welcome Coggeshall, Rayne host Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds, Braintree make the trip to Tendring and Real Oddies and Great Braxted & Tiptree start their campaigns when they meet at Garrison Ground.
In the T20 East Division, Mistley will be looking to make it two out of two when they host newcomers Ipswich for a 2pm start at New Road.