Weekly Round-Up

Week 6 - May 21

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.

Division One
The unbeaten records of Elmstead and Wivenhoe were on the line as the top two clashed at Vicarage Meadow, spiced up by it being a derby and a couple of recent former Wivenhoe players in Elmstead ranks. Wivenhoe won the toss and elected to field and were soon enjoying success, with Harry Burnett (3 for 20) and Liam Hope-Shackley (1 for 16) taking early wickets. Former Wivenhoe man Jordan Elliott (34) student defiantly, and was backed up by keeper Peter Webster (34). However, with only Joe Davis (20) getting a start, the home side were bowled out in the 38th over for 147. Joseph Nicholls (2 for 17) and Matt Durrell (2 for 35) claimed a couple of wickets each. In reply, Wivenhoe made relatively light work of the chase with Matt Durrell (75no), recording his fourth successive half century in an opening stand of 128 with Jordan Nicholls (59). Ryan Vickery (2 for 20) did claim a couple of late wickets against his former NECL club, but the honours went to the Hoe as they cruised to a seven wicket success in 34 overs.

Colchester & E.E remain third after an eight wicket success at Castle Park over Great Horkelsey & Lexden. The visitors batted first after winning the toss. Omar Ahmed dominated the top of the order, making 78 before becoming fifth man out with the score on 120. David Taylor (43), with the assistance of Rajiv Pillai (19) and Niall Fitzgerald (23) ensured that the Saxons got to maximum batting points, being bowled out in 39th over for 215. Jack Hebron (3 for 47) and Henry Hebron (3 for 52) were the principal wicket takers for Colchester. In reply, Henry Hebron (52) and Bill Ince (81) put the home side in control with an opening stand of 147, before Colchester skipper Jack Hebron (53no from 37 balls, including 10 fours) guided his side to a victory with 19 balls remaining.

Champions Frinton won a second successive game with a five wicket victory over bottom side Eight Ash Green. Batting first the Green were reduced to 80 for 7, with only Keith Hammond (23) and Matt Norris (21) making double figures in the top order. Patrick Barker (3 for 30) and Pete Ahern (2 for 14) were the significant wicket takers for the Seasiders. An eighth wicket stand of 50 between Andrew Woodhouse (30) and Jake Harris (29) ensured the Green were able to post a score, but were bowled out at the beginning of the 38th over for 147. In reply, Aussie Blake Reed (53 from 45 balls), supported by Will Cole (27) gave Frinton a rapid start, before Kemar Smith (26 from 16) and Sam Brynes (33 from 19) ensured a quick finish, as Frinton raced to victory in 21 overs. Andrew Woodhouse backed up his top score with the bat, with bowling figures of 3 for 46, while Matt Parker (2 for 46) claimed the other two wickets.

Clacton batted first against Mistley at Vista Road, and posted a respectable 212 for 5. Haydn Erfuth (46) with support from Kieron Parkers (24) and Daniel Smith (34) gave Clacton a solid enough start, before Bradley Pitts (60no) and James Lee (21no) finished the innings with an unbeaten sixth wicket stand of 48. Oliver Fifield (2 for 25) and George Hutton (2 for 40) claimed two wickets a piece for the Swans. James Stamatis (111) and Hutton (51) then shared a match winning second wicket partnership, although the Mistley response came down to the wire with the winning run being scored with a ball to spare, for the loss of five wickets. Pitts backed up his top score, by returning the best bowling figures for Clacton with 2 for 56.

Division Two
Chappel & Wakes Colne made it three from three wins, without having to take to the field, as their opponents Gosfield conceded.

Great Totham are having a miserable time with the bat, having been dismissed for 59 last week they were bowled out for 80 on Sunday at home to Copdock & OI. Dillon Hatcher (3 for 23) caused the early problems for the home side, which they appeared to weather through Harry Cooper (33) and Rob Mutton. However, the arrival of Jamie Smith (4 for 18 from 9) into the attack saw a dramatic slump in fortunes as Totham collapsed in 25 overs, with Mutton left high and dry on 21. Sam Edmond claimed four catches for the visitors. Sam Bowen (2 for 24) took a couple of wickets for Totham, but thereafter, Jack Knight (38no) and Edmond (24no) made pretty easy work of the run chase reaching the target at the beginning of the 17th over, to consolidate Copdock's position in third place.

Witham are fourth after a home six wicket win over winless Ardleigh. After being inserted, Ardleigh did at least post their highest score of the season, having gleaned just three batting points from their previous four defeats. Kurt Lamont and Chris Chandler (52) put on 85 for the first wicket, before Lamont (91no) shared a second wicket stand of 70 with Joe Bland (18) and an unbroken third wicket stand of 51 with Tim Harvey (25no) as the visitors closed at 206 for 2 from their 40 overs. In reply, Witham eased to victory with almost eight overs to spare. Michael Godwin (85no from 86 balls) carried his bat throughout the run chase, enjoying a second wicket stand of 73 with Jack Sambrook (45) and a third wicket stand of 75 with Michael Glynn (31) as the Warriors claimed their second win of the campaign.

Division Three
Abberton’s unbeaten start came to an end with a five wicket defeat at Galleywood. The Lions struggled to cope with some economical bowling from the hosts, with Clay Westwood (2 for 21 from 9) at the beginning of the innings being the most impressive. Abberton skipper Chris Pettit (46) and Steve Cowland (22) top scored, before a match changing spell from Dan McIntyre (4 for 26) saw the visitors restricted to 128 for 9 from their 40 overs. McIntyre (47no) then completed an excellent all round match by guiding his side to victory inside 35 overs, with partnerships with James Adams (23) and Josh Felton (20) dominating the innings. Ryan Savill (2 for 30) and Dave Booker (2 for 17), and an economical spell from Pettit (1 for 18 from 7) were the Abberton wicket takers.

Cavaliers opening day win at Kelvedon seems a distant memory as they were routed for just 50 on Sunday at The Hobbies, by Chappel & Wakes Colne 2nds. The ageless Robin Carter (5 for 24 including a triple wicket maiden) was the chief architect of the Cavaliers collapse, although he was well supported at the beginning of the innings by Bex Wilson (2 for 9 from 8, a spell which included six successive maidens). Only Prakash Kannan (18) and Bipin Prabhu (13) reached double figures, as Jack Cousins (1 for 5) and Ben Jackson (2 for 9) mopped up the tail. Chappel were 8 for 2 early in their reply with Neville Davidson (2 for 18) claiming both wickets, before David Maytham (21no) and Aaron Keeble (14) eased any concerns, as Chappel completed a six wicket success in 19 overs.

The two unbeaten records of Springfield and West Bergholt, remain that for the time being, although the management committee will have to make a decision on the prospect of the match being replayed. West Bergholt conceded the match on Saturday night stating that their players did not want to take on the disruption of the A12 closure in getting to Springfield. However, Springfield have sportingly offered an alternative date later in the season in an effort to get the game on, which should be commended, as it is a far better outcome to have results decided on the pitch.

Division Four
There was another pro-active solution in Division Four, with unbeaten Real Oddies supposed to be hosting Tendring. However, when the army ground contractors deemed the Garrison ground unfit for play on Thursday, Tendring offered their own wicket in an effort to ensure the game would be played. Oddies batting first lost Pete Pearson cheaply, before a second wicket stand of 139 between Craig Watts and Ashok Sharma (89) dominated the innings. Watts went on to score an unbeaten 94, as the Oddies closed at 219 for 4, James Grange (18no) the only other player in double figures. In reply, Tendring seemed a long way from the target as they slumped to 53 for 5, with Scott Rees (3 for 21) and Mukesh Kumar (2 for 37) causing the early problems. Jack Jenno (85) battled hard for his top score, supported in the lower order by Jonny Bickers (28) to lift the Tendring score over 150 and three batting points. Pete Pearson (3 for 51) claimed his wickets at the end of the game as Tendring were bowled out at the beginning of the 40th over for 169.

In the Great Braxted Versus Boxted match, players from both teams defied the snarl-up on the A12 and the match started only a few minutes late at 1.08 pm. Alan Cookson (skippering GB&T - the captaincy is being rotated this season following Sean Hummerstone's 'retirement') won the toss and inserted the visitors, only to see Steve Philpott and Boxted's captain, Richard Springett, put on 118 for the first wicket before Philpott (46) was bowled by Adam Gwilliams. Springett went on to score his century before being run out for 110 with just two balls to spare as Boxted suffered a late 'collapse', losing 5 wickets for just 16 runs, including two smart run-outs, as they closed on 215 for 6. Matt Wilson was the only other substantial contributor to the Boxted total - also scoring 46. Rob Hill was GB&T's most successful bowler with 2-30 from his 9 overs. In reply, GB&T lost Alan Cookson early (bowled for 1 by Wilson in the third over). Mark Stefanani and Lee Howe steadied the innings, albeit always behind the required scoring rate, before Howe was bowled by Lines for 24 in the 15th over: 43 for 2. Despite some lusty blows off Lines's later overs, GB&T were never up with the asking rate of 5.4 an over and were eventually all out for 149 (just short of a third batting point) in the 37th over. Stefanini top-scored with 32 before holing out to Philpott at long-on in the 22nd over, and there were also double figure scores for Hill (14), Yeates (24) Taylor (18) and Benton (13), but the required big innings never materialised. For Boxted, Cosham, Lines and McPherson each took two wickets and there were three for off-spinner Sylvester McKnight, who finished with 6-2-22-3. Boxted securing their second win of the season, while the home side are still looking for their first success.

Coggeshall are sitting just behind unbeaten Braintree and Oddies, with a third successive win. Unfortunately it was by concession as Rayne had to concede for the second week running, which saw them deducted ten points and slip to the foot of the table

Centuries and Five Wickets
James Stamatis 111 Msitley v. Clacton
Richard Springett 110 Boxted v. Great Braxted & Tiptree

Robin Carter 5 -- 24 Chappel & Wakes Colne 2nd v. Cavaliers

Sam Edmond 4 4ct Copdock & OI v. Great Totham

NECL Performance on the Week as voted on Twitter (76 votes)
James Stamatis 111 Mistley v Clacton 41%
Richard Springett 110 Boxted v. Great Braxted & Tiptree 26%
Robin Carter 5-24 Chappel & WC 2nd v. Cavaliers 21%
Dan McIntyre 47* & 4-26 Galleywood v. Abberton 12%

Next Week
Bank Holiday weekend coming up and it looks from the weather forecast as though we could be blessed by a hot one – high twenties predicted !
Just the one game in Division One, sees the unbeaten leaders Wivenhoe travel to the coast to play Clacton. In Division Two leaders Halstead welcome Witham with the added attraction of their 10th Real Ale and Cider Festival for the beer drinking connoisseur. Third placed Copdock make the trip to Ardleigh, while Great Totham will be looking for change of their recent fortunes when they make the trip to Stebbing. In Division Three, leaders Springfield welcome bottom side Harwich & Dovercourt, while West Bergholt will be hopeful that the A12 is not so problematic this week, when they travel to Galleywood.
In Division Four, third placed Coggeshall host unbeaten Real Oddies in the game of the day, while Boxted welcome Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds. The other game at High Ridge sees Great Braxted & Tiptree and Tendring both seeking to end a four match losing run in the NECL. Bank Holiday Monday action sees attention turn to the T20 with the first game in the West Division, as champions Coggeshall get their campaign underway with a trip to newcomers Braintree.