Weekly Round-Up

Week 4 - May 7

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.

Division One
Wivenhoe and Elmstead both made excellent run chases to maintain their unbeaten starts.

Wivenhoe went to Eight Ash Green who were starting their campaign on the back of bacon butties ! Could be an enterprising new initiative for Sunday cricket, see the EAG website for details. Anyway after a hearty breakfast, the Green won the toss and batted first against ten man Wivenhoe, with James Parker (32) and Stephen Nunn rattling up 133 for the first wicket before Parker departed. Nunn continued to be the linchpin of the innings going through to a rapid century with a six. William Spicer (27) added good support for the third wicket as the Green went through 200. Nunn was eventually dismissed for an excellent 151, and with Matt Durrell claiming 3 for 33 for Wivenhoe, the hosts closed their innings at a respectable 242 for 7. Wivenhoe openers Liam Hope-Shackley and skipper Matt Durrell (82) were in imperious form in the reply, with an opening stand of 236, before the skipper departed having completed his third successive NECL half century. Andrew Woodhouse claimed his wicket and shortly after a second wicket on his way to figures of 2 for 44, but that was to be the Green’s only success in the field, as Hope-Shackley registered an unbeaten 136 to see the Hoe to an eight wicket success in the 29th over.

Elmstead are very much the early season surprise in the top flight, and took out another of the established ‘big four’ when completing a comprehensive victory over Colchester & E.E. at Vicarage Meadow. Winning the toss and batting first, Colchester made good progress through openers Henry Hebron (58)  – his second successive NECL fiftyand Alex Berry (64). Bill Ince (30) and Rhys Howell (23) backed up the openers good work, while for Elmstead, Dan White 3 for 32 and Jordan Elliott 2 for 37 bowled tidy spells to see the Castle Park outfit close at 221 for 7. Elliott is enjoying NECL cricket for Elmstead, two starts for the side, two centuries, as he posted an unbeaten 119 in a successful run chase that saw Elmstead to a seven wicket success in 32.3 overs. His main support came in second and third wicket stands with Jacob McNaught (34) and Nikhil Ellis (49).

There was a seemingly competitive coastal derby at Ashlyn’s Road, where Frinton eventually prevailed by 11 runs over Clacton, to secure their first win of the campaign. Tom Sinclair (33 from 26 balls including seven fours) gave the Seasiders a rapid start, before the middle order of Kemar Smith (38), Antony Stubbs (50no) and Dominic Stockdale (41) put the bulk of the runs together as Frinton posted 221 for 6. Stubbs and Stockdale sharing a fourth wicket stand of 67. Haydn Erfuth with 2 for 32 was the pick of the Clacton bowlers. Erfuth then got the visitors off to steady start with 45 from 58 balls before becoming the second man out with the score on 63. Daniel Smith anchored the innings with an unbeaten 75, the majority (38) of which came in an unbeaten last wicket stand of 45 with Paul Lee (1no), with Billy Wilderspin-Webb (1 for 37 from 2) taking some tap. James Lee (30) and David Fitzpatrick (17) had provided support further up the order for Clacton. Lewis Catlow (3 for 22 from 9) had bowled a steady spell earlier in the innings to put the hosts in control of the game, and only some friendly end of innings bowling saw the result tighter than it should have been.

Division Two
Halstead made it three wins from three, with an 86 run victory over local rivals Gosfield. A maiden senior half-century for Ben Roper and a captain's knock of 53 not out from Adam Morris helped the NECL side to the spoils in Sunday's local derby. There was a degree of familiarity as the visitors fielded six current or former Saturday Halstead players. Batting first, Roper was quick to latch on to the bad balls as he raced ahead of opening partner Chris Rayner. The off-spinner's previous highest score was 49, made during last season's promotion campaign, but he went to his maiden senior fifty with a dismissive flick off of his legs for 6. Rayner constructed a sensible, anchoring innings at the top of the order, building partnerships with Roper (56), Charles Mallett (16) and Adam Morris (53*). Former Halstead man Ed Merry took five wickets for the visitors, but Luke Robinson (37 from 24) and Joe Morris (31 from 19) bolstered the hosts' total, finishing on 258 for 8 from their 40 overs. Gosfield's reply never really got going, with Aaron Read (6-3-3-0), Luke Robinson (4-0-14-0) and Callum Hansey (8-0-27-2) keeping runs at a premium. The latter dismissed Saturday colleagues Mark Bloomfield (25) - stumped well by Sam Hawes - and Gary Dicker - caught by Adam Morris - for his first wickets of the 2017 campaign. Ben Roper (6-0-26-2) and Chris Rayner (6-0-42-2) backed up their knocks with two wickets apiece and Charles Mallett (2-0-13-1) took the other wicket as Gosfield finished on 172-7, never looking like chasing down the target. Joe Doherty (39), Justin Rose (34) and Jeeva Subrahmani (41) all got starts, but it proved to be too little too late for the visitors.

Copdock & OI made it two out of two with a 30 run victory over ten man Stebbing. Openers Nathan Scarff and Scott Wootton compiled 26 a piece, before the partnership of the innings between Donald Mlambo (57) and Karl Storey (48) set up the home sides score. Kevin Banham weighed in with an unbeaten 29, as Copdock reached tea at 202 for 7. Simon Sargent (3 for 39) and Chris Townsend (2 for 36) were the most successful of the visiting bowlers. In reply, there were starts for most of the Stebbing batsmen, although they were generally kept in check by some tight Copdock bowling. Matthew Schilber (24) and Steven Chambers (28) opened the innings well, and there were good knocks from Sargent (48no), Andy Lane (27) and Yvan Grant (21no). James Druitt (2 for 21 from 7), as well as Jamie Smith (1 for 21 from 7) and Steve Gauke (1 for 31 from 9) produced the economical spells to restrict Stebbing to 172 for 5.

Chappel & Wakes Colne got off to a winning start, in emphatic fashion, and ironically at the place their 2016 promotion push was derailed, Ardleigh. After winning the toss the visitors were in some trouble at 54 for 4, of which Jack Perfect-Brown (32) seemed the only one at ease. Mike Wright (2 for 38) and Graham Cole (1 for 34) bowled the good early spells to reduce Chappel to their precarious position. Recovery came from the 'bowlers having to do the batman’s job' - their words not mine, with a fifth wicket stand of 144, between Ross Wyatt and Harry Carter (56). Wyatt ended the innings unbeaten on 92 from 96 balls, as Chappel eventually closed at a respectable 208 for 5. Carter and Wyatt then opened the bowling and reduced the home side to 44 for 6, with Carter (5 for 10 from 9) backing up his half century with a five wicket haul. Wyatt was not so economical with 2 for 40 from 9, while Sam King (1 for 16 from 8) and Robin Carter (0 for 15 from 7) were able to put in miserly spells. Kurt Lamont (42no) battled to glean a single batting point for Ardleigh as they were restricted to 116 for 8 in their 40 overs.

Witham recorded their first victory of the season, as neighbours Great Totham were unable to make the short trip.

Division Three
Abberton posted the highest score of the season so far when they made the trip to The Hobbies to face the second team of Chappel & Wakes Colne. Jon Ward playing his first game in a while was influential in the Abberton innings, enjoying an opening stand of 102 with Steve Cowland (29) and then 173 for the second wicket with skipper Chris Pettit. Ward was finally dismissed for a 109 ball 150, which included 24 fours and five sixes. Pettit went onto record an unbeaten 93 from 62 balls, as the Lions reached a mammoth 314 for 2. Chappel made a good fist of their reply, claiming maximum batting points. Jake Fordham (80) and 15 year old Harry Bryant (46) sharing a third wicket stand of 89 the most significant performers. Although an unbeaten sixth wicket stand between Aaron Keeble (33no) and Charlie Percival ensured full batting points as Chappel reached 213 for 5.

Springfield took the honours in the Chelmsford derby with newly promoted Galleywood in an absorbing encounter that fluctuated during the afternoon. Batting first Springfield lost two wickets cheaply to Zack Hicks (2 for 32), before Luke Southwell (57) and Charlie Prudence (48) steadied the innings with a useful third wicket stand. Tim Detheridge (2 for 43) and Dan McIntyre (2 for 30) took the wickets of Southwell and Prudence, before Noah Pothen (63no) put together a match winning innings to lift Springfield to their 40 over total of 204 for 7. In reply, the ten men of Galleywood also lost two wickets early to Tony Ashurst (2 for 32), before Dan McIntyre (51) and Ben Rayner (74) appeared to be easing Galleywood to a victory with 60 runs required from the last ten and seven wickets in hand. However, with Paul Aldworth breaking the partnership with a return catch from McIntyre and then going on to take 4 for 28 from his seven overs, the spoils went to the home side as Galleywood were restricted to 185 for 8, and defeat by 19 runs.

West Bergholt started their 2017 campaign with a trip to the Rugby Club to meet Cavaliers, who had claimed an opening day victory over Kelvedon. Cavaliers won the toss and batted first but were soon in trouble slipping to 6 for 2 after 7 overs, which became 29 for 3. Recovery came from debutant Thamarai Janganan (28 from 28) and Neville Davidson (22 from 21) who went on the attack, to take the score to 59 for 3 in the 16th over. When they fell within a few runs of each other, it was left to Jarran Samwell (16), Noman Hussain (13) and Peter Johnson (10) to take the score to a lowly 117 all out in 39th over. The last four wickets falling for 14 runs. Dan Grice (3 for 18) was the most successful of the Bergholt bowlers, although there were two wickets each for Joe Smith (2 for 19 from 7) and Lee Smith (2 for 22). Joe Smith (14) and David Bates (17) got the Bergholt reply off to a solid enough start with 25 for the first wicket, before a collapse instigated by Neville Davidson (3 for 32) saw the visitors slip to 60 for 5, and a long way from the target. Dan Grice (32no) and James Banks (29no) eased any nerves to steer their side to a five wicket success in 30 overs.

Kelvedon scored their first NECL victory of the season with an exciting run chase at home to Harwich & Dovercourt. The Ships batted first and solid batting throughout saw them to 224 for 8 from 40 overs. Alan Double (62) and Stuart Barwood (48) were the principal run scorers, and the Harwich total could have been higher but for a timely intervention from seventh change bowler Stuart Bonvini whose four overs yielded figures of 5 for 14. Kelvedon openers Will Wilton-Steer (34) and Ed King put on a century for the opening wicket, before Barwood claimed the first of his four wickets on his way to 4 for 23 from 8. Martin Sleet added 22, but it was King who was to take control of the match smashing an unbeaten 138 as Kelvedon raced to a five wicket victory in just over 33 overs.

Division Four
Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds made it two wins out of two, with a 99 run victory at Rayne. Batting first Anthony Shearman (33) and Alistair Manhire (44) got the Saxons off to a steady enough start. Jon Jones (92) and James Wallis (38no) then combined to lift the visitors score to 241 for 4 from their 40 overs. In reply, only Peter Dawson (42) and Nathan Swansborough (41) scored any meaningful runs for Rayne as they were dismissed for 142 with eight overs remaining. Liam Scott-Gunfield (4 for 36) was the picks of the visitors bowlers, whilst there were two wickets a piece for Rauf Maan (2 for 17), Naveed Maan (2 for 22) and Graeson Laitt (2 for 24).

First league outing in 2017 for both Real Oddies and Great Braxted & Tiptree, saw the Oddies win by three wickets in a low-scoring game at the Garrison 'A' ground. RO won the toss and elected to field first. Ten-men GB&T, with three new players (Wicket-keeper Lee Howe, South African Miguel De Gouveia, and Adam Gwilliams) struggled to score on a green pitch and at one point were 14 for 5 in the 13th over. Alan Cookson (arriving late and therefore batting at No. 6 rather than his accustomed No. 2 slot) and Sam Yeates then stopped the rot, adding 39 for the 6th wicket before Yeates was bowled by Lasantha Bodaragama for 23. Two more wickets fell cheaply, both to Ashan Disanayake (to give him the impressive final figures of 8-3-8-5) before David Lamming (4) and Cookson (top-scoring with 34 not out) added 22 runs for the last wicket to take GB&T's final score to 80 in 36.1 overs. Replying, Real Oddies were 11 for 2 in the 5th over, both wickets falling to Rob Hill, and might have been 11 for 3 had a lofted edge by Bodaragama to backward square leg off Michael Benton not got lost in the sun. Bodaragama took full advantage of his fortune, scoring most of the Real Oddies runs as wickets continued to fall at the other end. A sharp run out with the score at 77, thanks to some smart fielding by debutant De Gouveia, gave GB&T a 6th wicket and a 3rd bowling bonus point and there were, perhaps, a few jitters in the RO camp when Boud was bowled by Yeates with the scores level. In the next over, though, Bodaragama hit the winning run and, at the same time, took his score to 50 not out. Rob Hill finished with figures of 7-2-25-3 and Yeates 3-0-16-2.

Coggeshall bounced back from the shock opening day defeat at the hands of Tendring with a more accomplished performance with both bat and ball in their game at Boxted. After being invited to bat first Coggeshall made steady progress through Ben Speakman (44) and Harry Doubleday (34) before Kane Addison and Ashley Blows (78) combined to put on 189 for the fourth wicket to take the game away from the home side. Addison (112) went through to complete his century, eventually falling to Matt Wilson, who claimed Addison and Blows at the beginning of a hat trick on his way to figures of 4 for 35. The Cockerels eventually closed at 299 for 7 from their 40 overs. In reply, only Sam Lines (45) and Gary Percival (29) posted any innings of note as Boxted were bowled out in 27 overs for 140. Lorcan McCabe (3 for 28) and two wickets a piece for Addison (2 for 5), Theo Sivyer (2 for 14) and George Stevenson (2 for 57) were the wicket takers for the visitors.

Braintree are two out of two, having not needing to take to the field this weekend as opponents Tendring were unable to raise a side.

T20 - EAST
Mistley have moved on to four points in the NECL T20 East Division, as opponents Ipswich were unable to field a side for their trip to New Road.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Stephen Nunn 151 Eight Ash Green v. Wivenhoe
Jon Ward 150 Abberton v. Chappel & WC 2nd
Ed King 138 * Kelvedon v. Harwich & Dovercourt
Liam Hope-Shackley 136 * Wivenhoe v. Eight Ash Green
Jordan Elliott 119 * Elmstead v. Colchester & E.E.
Kane Addison 112 Coggeshall v. Boxted

Ashan Disanayake 5 -- 8 Real Oddies v. Great Braxted & Tiptree
Harry Carter 5 -- 10 Chappel & WC v. Ardleigh
Stuart Bonvini 5 -- 14 Kelvedon v. Harwich & Dovercourt
Ed Merry 5 -- 55 Gosfield v. Halstead

Performance of the Week as voted on Twitter (A record 108 votes !!)
Stephen Nunn 151 Eight Ash Green v. Wivenhoe 40%
Harry Carter 56 & 5 for 10 Chappel & WC v. Ardleigh 33%
Jon Ward 150 Abberton v. Chappel & WC 2nd 17%
Ed King 138* Kelvedon v. Harwich & D 10%

Next Week
Thirteen matches scheduled in the NECL next week, in Division One there are just the two with a stern test for Great Horkesley & Lexden 1st XI, the last team starting out on their 2017 campaign, as they host unbeaten Elmstead. Clacton and Eight Ash Green will look to capitalise on relatively good losing performances this week, by securing a first win when they meet at Vista Road. In Division Two, an unbeaten record will go if the weather doesn’t intervene, as Chappel & Wakes Colne welcome Copdock & OI. Halstead with three wins out of three, should be strong favourites to continue that run at Ardleigh who have three defeats out of three. In the other two games, Gosfield welcome Great Totham, and Stebbing have their first home game of the season with Witham the visitors.
In Division Three, Abberton and Springfield will be looking to consolidate their unbeaten starts with home games with Cavaliers and Chappel & Wakes Colne 2nds respectively. The West Bergholt v Kelvedon game has been postponed due to West Bergholt’s participation in the National Village Cup.
There is a full programme in Division Four, with unbeaten Great Horkesley & Lexden 2nds facing their toughest test so far against a rejuvenated Coggeshall. Braintree travel to High Ridge for their first ever NECL meeting with Great Braxted & Tiptree. Real Oddies will be looking to make it two from two, when they travel to Rayne, and Tendring will be hoping to field a side as they welcome Boxted to Crow Lane.