A pivotal week in the NECL saw Colchester & E.E defy the odds to reach the T20 Finals Day, they then slumped to a third straight Division 1 defeat to open up the title race, with any one of four teams now able to claim it. Defeat for Halstead by Wivenhoe, ensured that they are relegated along with Galleywood. Both games in Division 2 were conceded, with Cavaliers and Kelvedon claiming the twenty points. Real Oddies third concession of the season sees them relegated from Division 2. In Division 3, Great Horkesley & Lexden inflicted a third straight defeat on Sudbury, and are now short priced favourites to claim the title. In the other game, Great Totham defeated Eight Ash Green. Centuries this week, saw Kalipha Cele of Mistley lead the way with an unbeaten 141 against Colchester, Charlie Fernandes scored a rapid 129 in the T20 for Colchester against Abberton, while Josh Ruthven (101) and Matt Durrell (109no) both hit tons for their respective teams in the Halstead v. Wivenhoe clash. Bevin Guthrie (5 for 23) returned the only fivefor of the weekend in Eight Ash Green’s defeat at home to Great Totham.

Read more: Week 18 - August 11 - Holder's Colchester & E.E. take the final place for T20 Finals Day

A double century for Springfield’s Charlie Prudence was the stand out performance of the week, as Cavaliers lost their unbeaten record in emphatic fashion in Division Two. In Division One, there are new leaders as Clacton defeated Galleywood, while Halstead inflicted a second successive defeat on previous leaders Colchester & E.E. Down in Division Three, leaders Sudbury were also beaten for the second week running, on a pitch where the bowlers dominated at West Bergholt. In form Great Horkesley & Lexden kept the pressure on at the top with a big win at Boxted, Shaakir Ahmed once again in the runs with his third successive century. In the T20 on Thursday, Abberton avoided bottom place in the East Division with a 117 run win at Elmstead, which condemned the hosts to that position.

Read more: Week 17 - August 4 - Charlie's Double sinks unbeaten Cavaliers

Defeats for previously unbeaten Colchester & E.E. in Division One, and Sudbury in Division Three at the headlines of Week 16. Bottom of the table Galleywood defeated Colchester & E.E. despite Johnny Bassett-Graham’s impressive 131 at Slades Lane, with an exciting run chase. Clacton failed to capitalise on Colchester’s misfortune by being defeated by 7 wickets at Wivenhoe. Mistley completed a double over Halstead with a six wicket win. In Division Two, unfortunately both games were conceded, leading to points deductions for both the conceding teams. Real Oddies were deducted 10 points for conceding for the second time this season, Witham being the beneficiaries. Kelvedon were also deducted 10 points for their concession at Springfield, Rule 15B catching them out, the Results Secretary as well as the opposition has to be informed of a concession by 10 pm on the eve of the game. In Division Three, Sudbury’s perfect season was brought to a shuddering halt at Eight Ash Green. Great Horkesley & Lexden completed an impressive run chase at Great Totham, with Shaakir Ahmed (114) scoring a second successive century. Finally, basement side Boxted were defeated heavily at home to West Bergholt. Both T20 games on Thursday evening were victim of the thunderstorms that came through the area, or in the case of Wivenhoe hail stones ! As a result Mistley, can now not be caught mathematically and will take part in Finals Day at the end of August.

Read more: Week 16 - July 28 - Colchester & E.E. and Sudbury both beaten for the first time

After the euphoria of last week, it was back to NECL action this week. Colchester & E.E strengthened their chances of qualification for the T20 Finals Day with a 30 run victory at Elmstead on Thursday. On Sunday, Clacton closed the gap on leaders Colchester & E.E. to five points in Division One, following Halstead’s concession to them. In the other game, things are looking bleak for bottom of the table Galleywood, as they were defeated by 7 wickets by Wivenhoe. In Division Two, Cavaliers maintained their unbeaten start, but were made to work for it against bottom of the table Real Oddies, eventually securing a four wicket victory chasing a low target. In Division Three, Great Horkesley & Lexden and Coggeshall served up a high scoring game at Harefield, with the visitors winning by 40 runs. Eight Ash Green won the other game in the division by 100 runs over bottom of the table Boxted.
Plenty of good performances over the weekend, Ollie Stovell (130) for Eight Ash Green, Shaakir Ahmed (126) for Great Horkesley & Lexden both recorded centuries, while there were five wicket bowling performances for Muhammadi Nadeem (5 for 17) for Cavaliers and M Mathias (5 for 31) for Real Oddies in the same game. Jens Wair (5 for 35) also went nap in the game against Boxted.

Read more: Week 15 - July 21 - Cavaliers make it five out of five in Division 2

A depleted Sunday in the NECL, due to a certain match at St John’s Wood enthralling the cricketing community, as well as a large proportion of the country who may not be so interested in the sport. Hopefully, the success of the senior side will encourage more people to visit their local clubs and see what the game is all about. Most clubs took the pragmatic decision to reschedule matches due to be played on Sunday until later in the season, leaving just one match played.

Read more: Week 14 - July 14 - World Cup joy deplete the NECL programme

T20 Finals Day qualification was very much the key focus of NECL programme this week. On Sunday, in T20 West Halstead romped to a ten wicket success over previously unbeaten Coggeshall, however, due to Little Bardfield’s concession at Kelvedon, both have now qualified for Finals Day as they sit pretty at the top with 8 points each. The East division is a different matter, following Thursday’s results. Wivenhoe thumped champions Colchester & E.E at Castle Park by 8 wickets, while Mistley made it two out of two with a five run success at Abberton. Frinton, Wivenhoe and Mistley all have four points, while Colchester & E.E are one win back on two points. In the 40 over competition, Wivenhoe scored an eight wicket win over Mistley, this despite a daddy hundred from Kalipha Cele (146no). There was no games in Division Two, while in Division Three leaders Sudbury march to the title continued with a 34 run win over nearest rivals Great Totham. Coggeshall’s ten run victory over Boxted sees them leapfrog Totham into second place, but Totham do have games in hand.

Read more: Week 13 - July 7 - Halstead and Coggeshall reach T20 Finals Day