Almost a full programme of scheduled matches in Week 18 of the NECL, which sees the first relegation confirmed. In Division One, there was a first defeat for Wivenhoe, who went down by 16 runs at home to neighbours Elmstead. The result throws the title race open, with both champions Frinton and Elmstead now in the mix. Frinton were eight wicket winners at home to Great Horkesley & Lexden, while Colchester & E.E. were six wicket winners at Mistley. In Division Two, Copdock need 25 points from their remaining two fixtures to claim the title after they won at home to Ardleigh, while second placed Halstead were going down to a shock defeat at Witham. It could have been even better for the leaders, as third placed Chappel & Wakes Colne got over the line by one wicket at Great Totham. In Division Three, Galleywood kept the pressure on leaders Springfield with a 43 run victory at home to Kelvedon. Abberton are up to third following a 79 run win at Harwich, which condemns the home side to relegation. West Bergholt leap frogged Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds with a comprehensive 118 run victory. There were wins for the top three in Division Four, so it is as you were, with Braintree remaining favourites to take the title. The Dolphins, were 70 run victors over Tendring. Second placed Real Oddies were given the afternoon off, after Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds conceded for the fourth time this season, a concession which confirms the Saxons as the holders of the Wooden Spoon. Third placed Coggeshall lost five wickets in chasing down Great Braxted & Tiptree’s 176.
Two big centuries this week were the headline performances, with West Bergholt’s Dan Wheeler (156) leading the way in his sides win at Chappel. Harry Bailey (146no) of Copdock was equally dominant in his sides win at home to Ardleigh. Coggeshall’s Kane Addison (6 for 39) returned the bowling performance of the week, while Elmstead’s Ryan Vickery (5 for 27) was the other five for over the weekend.

Read more: Week 18 - August 13

After heavy rain on Saturday, the sun did at least shine on Sunday. Unfortunately, two more games fell to concession with Gosfield conceding at Witham, and Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds conceding at home to Great Braxted & Tiptree. In Division One, Wivenhoe claimed their tenth win of the season with a seven wicket victory at home to Mistley. Colchester & East Essex were equally emphatic at Great Horkesley & Lexden with an eight wicket success. In Division Two there were big wins for leaders Copdock & OI at Stebbing by 102 runs, and by Great Totham at Ardleigh by 188 runs. Division Three leaders Springfield met West Bergholt for the second time in a week and completed the double. At the bottom of the division there was a rare victory for Harwich & Dovercourt, winning by 56 runs over Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds, while Kelvedon were big winners at Cavaliers. The only game in Division Four saw Braintree strengthen their position at the top without having to take the field, as second placed Real Oddies were defeated by six wickets at Tendring. Wivenhoe did suffer their first NECL defeat of the season on Thursday, when Colchester & E.E. defeated them in convincing manner in the final T20 group game.
Not surprisingly the bowlers were largely on top over the weekend, with just the one century compiled by Copdock’s Archie Wilkinson who posted 120 against Stebbing. Will Wilton-Steer claimed the only five wicket performance with 5 for 20 for Kelvedon against Cavaliers, while there were four wicket performances from Harwich’s Harvey Bennett (4 for 12), Tendring’s young Luke Jenno (4 for 47) and Cavaliers Salman Riaz (4 for 54).

Read more: Week 17 - August 6

Plenty of the wet stuff about over the weekend, but thankfully only one of the scheduled thirteen matches was called off, and that was down to a concession.
Wivenhoe continued their unbeaten run with a ninth straight win in the top flight, not even the disruption of a lion, could knock them off their seemingly processional run to the title. Wivenhoe’s title odds have also been shortened by the fact that second placed Elmstead were defeated at home by Mistley, an unbeaten century from Daniel Goff proving decisive. Clacton are out of the relegation places with a close fought victory over Great Horkesley & Lexden who drop into the bottom two. In Division Two, there were comfortable wins for the top three, Copdock’s Harry Bailey (108no and 4 for 31) starred in their six wicket victory over Great Totham. Second placed Halstead were six wicket winners at home to Ardleigh, while third placed Chappel & Wakes Colne banked the points on Saturday when opponents Gosfield conceded. In Division Three, leaders Springfield edged a low scoring game at Coronation Park, winning by three wickets over West Bergholt. Galleywood have put more distance between them and Abberton, with a 35 run victory at The Brow. Elsewhere wins for Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds over Cavaliers, and Kelvedon over Harwich & Dovercourt, have virtually consigned the bottom two to the drop. In Division Four, second placed Real Oddies inflicted a heavy defeat on third place Coggeshall, skittling the Cockerels for just 56. In the other game Boxted got the better of nine man Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds by 17 runs. The T20 group stage is coming to an end, with the final quartet now known. Little Bardfield Village’s six wicket victory over Braintree, saw Kelvedon qualify as second placed team. The final group game takes place this week with Colchester & E.E. welcoming Wivenhoe. The likely semi final line up on Bank Holiday Monday at Castle Park, barring a heavy Wivenhoe defeat on Thursday, is now Wivenhoe v Kelvedon, and Little Bardfield Village v Mistley, the order of play still to be decided.
Individually, there were two centurions, Daniel Goff (118no) of Mistley, Harry Bailey (108no) of Copdock & OI, while Galleywood’s Dan McIntyre (96) was a boundary short. There were also three five fors, with Ian Catley breaking the T20 individual bowling record with a spell of 6 for 16 for Little bardfield Village against Braintree. Real Oddies, Malien Mudalige claimed 5 for 19 as Coggeshall were dismantled, while Cameron Sprott of Colchester & East Essex took 5 for 18 in their T20 defeat at the hands of Mistley on Thursday. Three all round performances were worthy of note, Harry Bailey of Copdock backed his century up with a bowling spell of 4 for 31, Clacton’s Kieron Parkes scored 67 and took 4 for 37 in his teams win, while Wivenhoe’s Jakob Kelly scored an important 41 before taking 4 for 14.

Read more: Week 16 - July 30

Irony personified in Week 15, as the NECL woke up to sunshine and NO concessions, but within an hour of the afternoon start time, virtually every game had fallen to monsoon like rain that hit Essex. It was the first time there had be no concessions since the second week of the season on April 23. Incredibly, one game got to a conclusion as Division Four leaders Braintree defeated Boxted by 84 runs.
Disappointingly the admin was particularly poor this week, with five teams failing to e-mail the result in by 10pm on Sunday, and a further three teams failing to upload to Play-Cricket within 48 hours. Admin stays the same for all matches, whether they are played or cancelled, so fines will be applied accordingly. Play-Cricket scorecards are still to be uploaded by West Bergholt, Boxted and Kelvedon in the T20.


Read more: Week 15 - July 23

A bit of rain about this weekend, saw two abandonments, while unfortunately there were a further four concessions, which all in all depleted the NECL fixture list.

In Division One, second placed Elmstead were pushed all the way by lowly Clacton in an excellent game at Vista Road. Mistley’s match at home to Eight Ash Green was called off at the tea interval, after Mistley had posted 268 in the first innings. There was a thriller in Division two, where leaders Copdock won by 1 run over third palced Chappel & Wakes Colne, elsewhere Stebbing conceded their game against second placed Halstead, while Gosfield slipped into the relegation zone following their concession to Ardleigh. Both Stebbing and Gosfield have now conceded three times this season, so will be invited to the next management meeting under Rule 15c. In Division Three, leaders Springfield were once again left twiddling their thumbs in league action, as Cavaliers conceded their fixture on Wednesday. Thankfully, Ardleigh stepped in to play a friendly. Second placed Galleywood were five wicket winners at Chappel & Wakes Colne 2nds, while third placed Abberton went down at home to Kelvedon. The Harwich versus West Bergholt match was abandoned with the visitors in a dominant position at 143 for 1, chasing Harwich’s 213. There was only one game in Division Four, as Real Oddies skittled Boxted for 49 in an 84 run victory at a bowler friendly Garrison. Great Braxted & Tiptree were unable to raise a side for the trip to Braintree, so that game has been provisionally conceded, but there is a possibility that the game may be re-arranged.
Individually, there were two centurions this week, with Ross Wyatt (112no) of Chappel & Wakes Colne top scoring at Copdock. Ryan Vickery (103) of Elmstead was the other century maker in their game with Clacton, while Mistley’s Danny Goff (98) and Clacton’s Haydn Erfurth (97no) also went close. The only five wicket performance of the week came from Clacton’s Bradley Pitts who returned 5 for 32.

Read more: Week 14 - July 16

The weather held fine for Week 13 of the NECL. In Division One, Wivenhoe made it eight from eight with a win at Great Horkesley and Lexden. At New Road, Mistley and Frinton played what could be the future of Sunday cricket, a nine a side game !, with Frinton running out big winners in a 30 over per side game. It was a lot closer at Eight Ash Green, where Colchester & East Essex prevailed by one run in a game that boasted 540 runs. In Division Two, Halstead got back to winning ways with a convincing win over Great Totham. However, the bottom two both failed to gain ground on Great Totham, with Ardleigh losing at home to Witham by 8 wickets, and bottom Stebbing defeated by 84 runs at home to Gosfield. Unfortunately, there were two concessions in Division Three, with the top two the beneficiaries. Springfield beat Kelvedon, while second placed Galleywood beat bottom side Harwich, who were deducted a further ten points for their second concession of the season. There was just one game in Division Four, with leaders Braintree defeating Coggeshall, with 15 year old Lee Fullgrabe starring for the Dolphins. Great Horkesley & Lexden 2nds had to provisionally concede to Tendring, but both sides are looking to re-arrange the fixture. Thursday evening action in the T20 East division saw Wivenhoe break the T20 record with a massive 268 for 8, in their win over Mistley, which sees them as the first side into Finals Day. In the other game in the Division scheduled for this coming Thursday, Great Bentley have already conceded to Colchester & E.E. In the West Division Kelvedon have leap frogged Braintree into the qualifying places, after 7 Para conceded their fixture on Friday.
Individually, there was just the one century this week, with Blake Reed of Frinton hitting an unbeaten 128 in his sides victory over Mistley, while Colchester’s Alex Berry just missed out with 96 against Eight Ash Green. There were two five wicket performances, with Justin Rose (6 for 27) for Gosfield against Stebbing the best. Wivenhoe’s James Sparling returned an impressive 5 for 16 in the T20 East game on Thursday. While in Division Four, all round performance of the week came from Braintree’s young Lee Fullgrabe, who backed up his 84 with a bowling spell of 4 for 34 in the top of the table win over Coggeshall.

Read more: Week 13 - July 9