Weekly Round-Up

Week 9 - June 11

Sad but probably inevitable news this week, sees the first NECL withdrawal of the season as Rayne confirmed their decision, after conceding three matches in the first month. On a warm afternoon, Division One leaders Wivenhoe extended their winning run to six, with a thumping victory over Great Horkelsey & Lexden. Colchester & E.E were comfortable winners over Eight Ash Green, while Frinton completed a double over neighbours Clacton. There was only one game in Division Two, but it pitted the unbeaten records of Halstead and Chappel & Wakes Colne together at Star Stile, with the hosts edging a nervy encounter. In Division Three, there was an upset for leaders Springfield who were beaten at home by second placed Abberton. Third placed Galleywood held off a spirited run chase by Cavaliers, winning by eight runs, while Harwich & Dovercourt were thankful to the hospitality of Mistley Cricket Club, who accommodated their match against Chappel & Wakes Colne 2nds, after their ground was unplayable due to Travellers incursion. Harwich run out comfortable winners posting the biggest score of the weekend with 308 for 6. Great Braxted & Tiptree were left frustrated for the third week running in the only game in Division Four, as opponents Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds were unable to field a side. There were two games in the T20 West Division, which now sees a very complicated picture with four sides level on two points each. Braintree won a high scoring encounter at home to Kelvedon, while champions Coggeshall’s hopes of progressing to the Finals Day were dealt a further blow when they were beaten at home by Little Bardfield Village.
Individually, there were two centurions this weekend, with Braintree’s William Jackson producing a record score in the T20, with a blistering 129 off of 54 balls in the game against Kelvedon. Abberton’s Jon Ward scored his second century of the season with 106 against Springfield in Division Three. Two five fors, came from Eight Ash Green’s Alex Hammond (5 for 22) in their defeat at Colchester & E.E., and a maiden five wicket haul for Halstead’s Aaron Read (5 for 34) in their top of the table clash with Chappel & Wakes Colne.

Division One
The Wivenhoe bandwagon continued to roll on with a 130 run victory at Rectory Road over Great Horkesley & Lexden. Aussie Liam Hope-Shackley (77) dominated the early proceedings of the match, in an opening stand of 110 with Joseph Nicholls (27). James Butcher (36), saw Tom Durrell and Ross Evers depart cheaply, before Matt Durrell (37) and Jordan Nicholls (36no) took the Hoe past 200. Durrell failing to convert an innings into an NECL fifty for the first time this season. Wivenhoe closed at 246 for 9, the pick of the Saxons bowlers being Shaun Hassan (2 for 37), Allan Highfield (2 for 41) and Shiraz Amin (2 for 50) each picking up a double. In reply, the Saxons only shining light was a third wicket stand of 77, between Shaun Hassan (24) and Naveed Maan (51). However, the departure of Maan saw a dramatic collapse with eight wickets falling for 21 runs as GHL were bowled out for 116. Ross Evers (3 for 44) and James Butcher (2 for 10) were the significant wicket takers for Wivenhoe.

Colchester & E.E. are up to third following a 90 run victory over basement side Eight Ash Green. A big second wicket stand between Kieran Dale (89) and Keir Young (66) set up the Castle Park side for their total of 238 for 8, with no other batsmen going on to top twenty. Green skipper Alex Hammond (5 for 22) claimed a five for at the end of the innings, to help glean four bowling points for the visitors. In reply, the Green never really challenged the Colchester total, with only James Parker (38) and Jake Harris (35) contributing any innings of note in their total of 148. Matt Cook (3 for 30) was the pick of the Colchester bowlers, with Feroze Ahmed (2 for 25) and Jack Crace (2 for 30) also picking up a pair of wickets each.

Champions Frinton extended their winning run to three, by completing a double over close neighbours Clacton at Vista Road. Clacton’s problems started early in the piece, with Blake Reed (3 for 20 from 9) and Ryan Harrington (3 for 34) reducing them to 45 for 6. James Lee (55) batted valiantly, and posted a ninth wicket stand of 47 with Charlie Spence (25) to get Clacton up to their total of 142 all out in the 35th over. Kemar Smith (36) and Tom Sinclair (22) gave Frinton a solid enough start, before both fell to Matt Illsley (2 for 36). Blake Reed claimed the man of the match with an unbeaten 50 from 41 balls, and assisted by Sam Brynes (19) eased the visitors to a comfortable six wicket success in under 17 overs.

Division Two
The top of the table clash did not disappoint, apart from the bowlers being on top for much of the game. Halstead won the toss and elected to field and were soon reaping rewards as Chappel stumbled to not many for three, with Aaron Read taking all three wickets. The Chappel middle order fought back through efficient knocks from Chris Carter (31 from 23), Tristan Moseley (36 from 32) and Ross Wyatt (35 from 37). However, with Ben Roper claiming 3 for 11 from 6, and a returning Read (5 for 34) taking his first fivefor for Halstead, Chappel were dismissed for 145 in just 28.3 overs. Harry Pritchard (18) and Joe Morris got the home side off to a steady enough start, however, some alarm bells were raised as the middle order failed to impress, Sam King (2 for 24), Zac Taylor (2 for 35), amongst the wickets. Joe Morris remained resolute and top scored with an important 84 from 81 balls to steer Halstead towards the target, however, when he was dismissed it was left to Sam Hawes (15no) and Mark Harris to edge Halstead to a three wicket victory to keep their unbeaten start intact. Chappel meanwhile slip to third behind Copdock & Old Ipswichian.

Division Three
Division Three leaders Springfield unbeaten start came to an end at home to second place Abberton. Batting first the Lions were largely dependent on opener Jon Ward (106) who compiled his second NECL century of the season in their total of 219 for 5. Ryan Savill (48no) made a useful contribution in the latter stages of the innings. Martin Southwell (3 for 40) was the most successful of the home bowlers. In reply, Springfield could never get going against some steady Abberton bowling, Mike Booker (1 for 29 from 9), and Mark Johnson (2 for 27 from 9), returning economic spells. Charlie Prudence (34) and Noah Pothen (54) were the top scorers for the home side, who’s problems were compounded further when top order batsman Paul Aldworth, tweaked his knee, and had to retire hurt as he walking out to bat ! Alan Warley (31) also scored well, but with Scott Gilbey (2 for 42) also bowling a steady spell, Springfield were restricted to 182 for 7.

Third placed Galleywood kept the pressure on the top two by winning at Cavaliers, but were made to work for the twenty points. Batting first Galleywood posted 221 for 3 from their 40 overs, with half centuries for James Adams (59) and Ben Rayner (53no). Adams enjoyed a second wicket stand of 99 with Dan McIntyre (49), while Rayner finished the innings off with an an unbeaten 81 run stand with Josh Felton (25no). Facing a difficult target the Cavaliers opening batsmen, Martin Vinter and Kaiser Chowdhury, added 68 for the first wicket before Vinter (25) was bowled. With Chowdhury (42) departing soon afterwards the Cavs were 81 for 2, but an attacking third wicket partnership of 65 between Noman Jalib and Thamarai Janganan took the score to 146. Jalib (22) was caught out shortly before Janganan brought up his second Cavaliers fifty from just 45 balls. A further 30 runs were added by Janganan and Prakash Kannan to put the hosts in a good position at 176 for 3, but Kannan (14) and Janganan (61) both fell in quick succession as the score slipped to 179 for 5, which saw the advantage swing to Galleywood. Noam Hussain and Neville Davidson kept the chase going with 22 from the last 11 balls. With boundaries hard to find, the equation came down to 15 needed from the last over, of which Cavaliers could only manage 6 to go down by 8 runs.

Harwich & Dovercourt plans for the weekend were in disarray at the beginning of the week as Travellers set up camp on their Low Road ground. However, Mistley saved the day and Harwich were able to get their Division Three match on against Chappel & WC seconds at New Road. Harwich batting first were looking for their first win of the campaign, and made a good start through Brandon Carter (36) and Michael Bunce. Bunce (82) and Mark Barwood (73) then built a big second wicket partnership, before cameo’s from Harry Windred (31), Cameron Rose (23), Alan Double (19) and Rory Harman (17) lifted the Harwich score to an imposing 308 for 6. Harry Bryant (2 for 49) was the pick of the Chappel bowlers. In reply Chappel made a steady enough start through David Maytham (25) and Jake Fordham (24), but the only significant contribution came from skipper Aaron Keeble (60no) who steered his side to maximum batting points, eventually posting 203 for 9. Brandon Carter (4 for 28) nipped out some cheap wickets towards the end of the innings, while Lee Davis (2 for 31) was the other significant wicket taker.

Division Four
Great Braxted & Tiptree were left frustrated for the third week running as opponents were unable to raise a side, on this occasion Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds were the forfeiting side, rumours that a number of them were enjoying the Olly Murs concert are however, totally unfounded.

T20 – West
The T20 West Division is becoming a scramble to qualify with four teams locked on two points each and separated by net run rate. Braintree and Kelvedon served up a feast of cricket at St Peters Road, with over 400 runs in the forty overs. The Dolphins batted first, and their innings was dominated by an astonishing innings from William Jackson, who plundered an NECL T20 record 129 out of 155 from just 54 balls, which included ten sixes. Louis Cant (28) and Ben Golds (26) added some useful runs as Braintree reached 213 for 8. There was a brace of wickets each for Ollie Wilton-Steers (2 for 22 from 3), Thata Tshose (2 for 30 from 4) and Ryan Vickery (2 for 21 from 2). In reply, Kelvedon made an excellent effort in the run chase, with Daniel Wheeler (40) and Ed King (49) scoring well at the top, before Tshose (28) and Josh Parsons (35) got them to within striking distance. However, a crucial spell by Daniel Garner (4 for 8 from 2) swung the game back to Braintree to see them victors by 8 runs.

Champions Coggeshall are now left hoping for miracles if they are to qualify for Finals Day, following a second successive defeat which leaves them languishing in fourth with one match to play. Little Bardfield Village were the visitors to Harefield on Sunday, and saw six of their batsmen get to double figures but no one pass thirty. Tom Graham (29no), Will Slemmings (23no) and Ian Catley (26) the top performers. Tom Pickles (2 for 26) and Lorcan McCabe (2 for 27) were the most successful of the Cockerels bowlers. In reply, Coggeshall were three down for not very many, as Will Slemmings (2 for 27) made the early inroads. The lumbering Ian Catley (2 for 33) picked up a brace to put further pressure on Coggeshall, before Rob Cross (26), Charlie Gibson (32) and Kane Addison (21no) pulled them back into the game. Matt Graham returning claimed the wicket of Gibson on his way to figures of 3 for 20 from 4, as Coggeshall were restricted to 132 for 9 and defeat by 17 runs.

Centuries and Five Wickets
William Jackson 129 Braintree v. Kelvedon
Jon Ward 106 Abberton v. Springfield

Alex Hammond 5 -- 22 Eight Ash Green v. Colchester & E.E.
Aaron Read 5 -- 34 Halstead v. Chappel & Wakes Colne

NECL Performance on the Week as voted on Twitter (76 votes)
William Jackson 129 in T20 (Record) Braintree v. Kelvedon 58%
Jon Ward 106 Abberton v Springfield 21%
Joe Morris 84 Halstead v. Chappel & Wakes Colne 20%
Kieran Dale 89 Colchester & E.E. v. Eight Ash Green 1%

Next Week
Next week’s action was supposed to begin this evening with Ipswich hosting Colchester & E.E in the East Division of the T20. However, Colchester have had to cancel the game due to unavailability of players through injuries, illness and summer exams.
At the weekend there is a bumper programme, and the sun is supposed to be shining too. In Division One, second placed Elmstead will travel to Eight Ash Green, hopefully the clear up following the encampment of Travellers at Fordham Heath would have been completed by then. Elsewhere, Frinton will fancy their chances of making it four on the trot at Great Horkesley & Lexden, while Mistley welcome Clacton to New Road. In Division Two, Chappel & Wakes Colne will be looking to get back on track as they host Stebbing, while there is a mid division encounter between Gosfield and Witham. In Division Three, Abberton will look to close the gap on Springfield as they travel to Kelvedon, while Galleywood will be looking to keep the pressure on as they host Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds. Harwich & Dovercourt buoyant from victory last weekend travel to West Bergholt. In Division Four, leaders Braintree are in action for the first time in a number of weeks as they journey to Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds. Second placed Coggeshall welcome Great Braxted & Tiptree, while third placed Real Oddies make the trip to Boxted. Finally in the T20 East, Wivenhoe make their seasonal debut with a ‘home’ match at Ipswich !