Weekly Round-Up

Week 5 - May 14

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.

Division One
An outstanding debut with the ball by Luke Conway for Great Horkesley & Lexden was unable to prevent Elmstead from recording a fourth straight win. Batting first Elmstead seemed to be making serene progress with openers Dan White (43) and Aidan O’Brien (49) putting on 79 for the first wicket. However, the complexity of the game changed with the introduction of Luke Conway into the attack, as he dismissed both openers and then ripped out the middle order, with four wickets in seven balls on his way to season best figures of 7 for 28. Peter Webster made, what was to be, a valuable unbeaten 38, as Elmstead were bowled out in the 36th over for 166. The Saxons top order all got starts with Shaun Hassan (28) and Naveed Maan (25) the top scorers, and despite an economic spell from Ryan Vickery (1 for 22 from 9) seemed very much in the game. The Elliott brothers then worked in tandem to swing the game back the way of Elmstead, Jordan claiming 3 for 45, and Josh 2 for 9. Zac Pushman (2 for 8) broke an important 8th wicket stand of 21 between Niall Fitzgerald (13) and Digs Taylor (11), as the Saxons eventually succumbed at the end of the 36th over for 142.

Division Two
Halstead made it four out of four in Division Two to maintain their early lead in the division with a comfortable win at Ardleigh who are yet to win this season. Batting first Halstead lost Ben Roper for a duck, before Harry Veal (23) and Goushi Raviendran put on 60 for the second wicket. Raviendran (57) was third man out with the score on 90, before Aaron Read (44) and Joe Morris (46) combined for a fifth wicket stand of 69 to take the Halstead score towards 200. Halstead eventually closed at 226 for 7 from their 40 overs. Mike Wright (3 for 41) and Graham Cole (2 for 35) were the most successful of the Ardleigh bowlers. In reply, the home side were soon under the cosh slipping to 15 for 3, as Veal (2 for 5 from 6) and Read (1 for 18 from 1), made the early inroads. Ardleigh were never able to threaten the Halstead total thereafter, and with some economic spells produced by all the visiting bowlers were restricted to 101 for 7 from their 40 overs. Tim Harvey (54no) ground out an unbeaten half century from 123 balls in the reply.

Chappel & Wakes Colne got the better of Copdock & OI at The Hobbies in a closely fought match, in which one unbeaten record was sure to go. Batting first after winning the toss, Chappel lost two early wickets to Harry Bailey (2 for 37), before Zac Taylor (57) and Chris Carter (46 from 39 balls) combined to put on 77 for the third wicket. Ross Wyatt (33) put in a valuable knock for the second week running, adding 50 for the fourth wicket with Taylor. However, with Steve Gauke taking 4 for 37, the lower order was opened up and the home side were bowled out with 22 balls remaining of their innings, for 165. A half century opening stand between Harry Bailey and Daniel Leggett (44) gave the visitors the perfect start. However, the game changed when Copdock slumped from 128 for 3 to 129 for 7, mainly due to a triple wicket maiden delivered by Harry Carter in an inspired second spell that yielded 4 for 10, giving him overall figures of 4 for 39. Zac Taylor, supported Carter by taking three catches at the wicket off of his bowling to end the match with four catches and a run out to back up his half century. Scott Wootton (58) battled almost single handily as Copdock closed in on the score, but when he was ninth man out on 161, to Jack ‘The Bounce’ Cousins (2 for 23) the end came fairly quickly as Carter took the final wicket to give Chappel victory by four runs.

Gosfield were convincing winners against a youthful and inexperienced Great Totham. After losing the toss and being inserted Mark Bloomfield (26) and Gary Dicker (38) gave the home side a solid start putting on 85 for the first wicket. Once they were dismissed it was Andy Rose (67) and Jeeva Subrahamani (24) who combined with a fourth wicket stand of 73 to put the bulk of the Gosfield total on the board as they closed at 198 for 8. Harry Cooper (4 for 41) and Rob Mutton (2 for 40) were the most successful of the visiting bowlers. In reply Great Totham were undone by some excellent bowling from Brad Richardson, making use of uneven bounce, and Andy Rose who used swing to cause havoc among the top order, with the first five wickets falling for 38 runs in 8 overs, of which Harry Cooper (17) top scored. Richardson (5 for 30) eventually went nap for the first time in a number of years, and also claimed three catches to personally end a successful afternoon in the field. Andy Rose provided the back up taking 3 for 10 in six overs, as Gosfield bowled out Totham in 12 overs for just 59.

Stebbing have their first 20 twenty points of the season with an eight wicket victory over Witham. Batting first the Witham batsmen were unable to deal with steady bowling from all the home bowlers. Michael Godwin, Martin McKendry and Luke Brown all top scored with 24, but with Simon Sargent (3 for 10 from 8.5) and Kevin Meakin (3 for 32) the visitors were bowled out for a disappointing 118. In reply, Rowan Birch (46) and Graham Bird (33no) dominated the reply as Stebbing raced to victory in just over twenty overs.

Division Three
Abberton made it three straight wins with a seven wicket success over ten man Cavaliers. Cavs were indebted to a splendid innings of 70 from 81 balls for half of their final total of 139. Only Kaiser Chowdhury and Tariq Hijazi, being able to support him by getting to double figures. All the Lions bowlers claimed wickets, with Dave Digby (3 for 31) the most successful, although there were braces for Chris Pettit (2 for 16) and a miserly Dave Booker (2 for 15 from 9) – his first seven overs yielded just a single run, before taking some tap in the last two overs. In reply, a second wicket stand of 104 between David Schofield (56) and Chris Pettit (59no) effectively got the job done for the Lions, Tony Mayhew (2 for 23) taking two late wickets for Cavaliers to glean a single bowling point.

Springfield are also three from three following a 24 run over a spirited Chappel and Wakes Colne second string. Batting first a big score seemed on the cards for Springfield, as Charlie Prudence (90) and James Gooday (38) put on an opening stand of 151. Prudence is racing towards 500 runs, having already compiled 336 in his three NECL innings to date. Aaron Keeble (4 for 28 from 9) and Ben Jackson (2 for 52) led the Chappel fightback, to eventually restrict Springfield to 210 for 6. Andy Blundell (28no) and Noah Pothen (20) both added solid knocks. In reply, David Maytham and Jake Fordham (24) gave Chappel a good platform and the game was in the balance whilst Maytham and Charlie Percival were sharing a productive third wicket stand. However, with Akhtar (2 for 46) claiming the wicket of Maytham (66), and Alan Warley (2 for 23) the wicket of Percival for 55 the game swung decisively towards Springfield. Shan Thevasakayam (3 for 44) then stepped in to claim the spoils as Chappel were dismissed for 186.

Division Four
Coggeshall leap frogged previously unbeaten Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds, into third place in Division Four. Batting first the Cockerels total of 269 for 8, was largely down to the efforts of Louis Gibson scoring his second NECL century in two innings (100 – including five sixes) and father David Gibson (93), with only Harry Doubleday (22) topping 20 out of the rest of the batsmen. Allan Highfield (3 for 66) and Matt Conybeare (2 for 51) were the most successful of the GHL bowlers. Coggeshall were always able to restrict the Saxons in their reply, and used ten bowlers during the innings. James Raine (3 for 22) and Ben Speakman (3 for 26) returning the best figures, although Adam Egg (2 for 31) claimed a brace at the beginning of the innings. Jerry Morgan (36) and Allan Highfield (42) were the only Saxons batsmen to score any significant totals, as the home side were bowled out for 166.

Boxted scored their first victory of the campaign with a 73 run at Tendring, who have now lost three on the bounce after an encouraging start. Tendring won the toss and elected to bowl on a pitch freshened by overnight rain. Boxted started well through the solid Steve Philpott (17) and the more aggressive Richard Springett (34), before the introduction of Jonny Bickers spin led to the instant dismissal of Philpott, followed quickly by Springett to an excellent arm ball. With Bickers claiming further wickets on his way to excellent figures of 4 for 14 from 9, and Luke Jenno bowling tidily in tandem it seemed as though Tendring may have been able to force an early conclusion to the innings. However, the Dell brothers survived the remainder of the Bickers spell, and with no second spinner, began to score quickly against the pace bowling. Michael Dell fell for a hard fought but hugely valuable 37, before Luke Jenno (2 for 33) picked up two deserved wicket including Graham Dell (47) as Boxted closed on 183 for 7. Tendring started their reply in similar fashion to the Boxted innings with Robert Gunary (24) scoring well against the luckless Cosham whilst facing virtually all the strike. Wilton ended the opening partnership, but the hosts seemed well placed before the combination of Michael Dell’s accuracy (2 for 10 from 6) and Kye Hayden’s well judged flight (4 for 33) proved terminal for Tendring’s chance. There were cameos from Jack Bowden (18), who hit his first ball for six, and a brave last wicket stand from Gary (14) and Luke Jenno which gave Tendring a single batting point as they were bowled out in the 33rd over for 110.

Braintree and Real Oddies lead the way in Division Four, both adding to their unbeaten starts following concessions at Great Braxted & Tiptree and Rayne respectively. The Dolphins have unfortunately seen their last two games conceded by the opposition, and are now not in league action until 18th June !

Centuries and Five Wickets
Louis Gibson 100 Coggeshall v. Great Horkesley & Lexden 2nd

Luke Conway 7 -- 28 Great Horkesley & Lexden v. Elmstead
Brad Richardson 5 -- 30 Gosfield v. Great Totham

Zac Taylor 5 4ct 1ro Chappel & Wakes Colne v. Copdock & OI

NECL Performance on the Week as voted on Twitter (A new record of 110 votes !!)
Zac Taylor 57, 4cts , 1ro – Chappel & WC v. Copdock & OI 46%
Luke Conway 7 for 28 Great Horkesley & Lexden v. Elmstead 31%
Louis Gibson 100 Coggeshall v. Great Horkesley & Lexden 2nd 15%
Charlie Prudence 90 Springfield v. Chappel & Wakes Colne 2nd 8%

Next Week
There is a full programme scheduled in Division One, with undoubtedly the match of the day pitting the unbeaten records of Elmstead and Wivenhoe together as they meet at Vicarage Meadow. Third placed Colchester & E.E entertain Great Horkesley & Lexden at Castle Park, while Frinton host Eight Ash Green. Clacton are at home to Mistley in the other game. In Division Two, Halstead have a week off, so attention turns to Chappel & Wakes Colne who make the short trip to Gosfield looking to stay unbeaten. Third placed Copdock & OI will look to get back on track when they travel to Great Totham, while Ardleigh will be looking to break their seasonal duck when they travel to Witham. In Division Three, an unbeaten record will go at Springfield who entertain West Bergholt who won their opening game of the campaign. Abberton also make the trip down the A12 for a potentially testing fixture at Galleywood. The other game sees the two relegation favourites Chappel & Wakes Colne 2nds and Cavaliers meet at The Hobbies. Real Oddies will be looking to make it three out three when they host Tendring in Division Four, while Great Braxted & Tiptree hope to welcome Boxted, and Rayne will host Coggeshall.