North Essex Cricket League

A full programme in Division Two saw Halstead extend their winning start to four with a ten wicket victory at Braintree. Second placed Springfield and third place Witham remain in close contention, following wins at Chappel & Wakes Colne and Eight Ash Green respectively. While Abberton remain bottom following a defeat at Great Totham. In Division Three, Stebbing are the only unbeaten side left, recording their sixth straight win over previously unbeaten Kelvedon. Real Oddies are up to second following a home success against Cavaliers, and there was a first win of the campaign for West Bergholt courtesy of a Great Horkesley & Lexden concession, who remain rooted to bottom of the table. The one game in Division One, saw Copdock concede their home game to Clacton. The T20 East Division got underway on Thursday, with champions Wivenhoe running up 247 for 0 in their win over 7 Para. The army side were back in action on Sunday, in a three way festival at Castle Park, and came second against both Colchester and Ipswich, while the final match between the two winners during the day ended in a tie. There were individual centuries, for Brendan Louw (123no) and Jakob Kelly (103no) for Wivenhoe in their T20 game with 7 Para, while on Sunday Forster Mutizwa posted the second highest score of the season with an unbeaten 170 for Witham against Eight Ash Green. Springfield’s Noah Pothen (110no) scored the fourth century of the week in his sides victory over Chappel & Wakes Colne.

Read more: Week 9 (June 17th) - Halstead and Stebbing remain unbeaten, and a T20 thriller at Castle Park

Not often you see all the home sides win in a week in the NECL, but the maximum points went to all eight home sides this weekend. Most of the action this week came in the third division with a full programme scheduled, however, leaders Stebbing picked up an easy twenty points following Coggeshall’s concession, to reach 100 points for the season. Real Oddies are up to second following an easy victory over winless West Bergholt, Cavaliers are third with a six wicket win over eight man Great Horkesley & Lexden, while Kelvedon remain unbeaten after they crushed Boxted. In Division One, Mistley eased to a nine wicket success over second placed Colchester & East Essex at New Road. In Division Two, Witham are up to third after winning their derby match with Great Totham in comprehensive fashion, while there was a tighter affair at Eight Ash Green, where the hosts overcame visitors Chappel & Wakes Colne by 11 runs. In the T20, there is a first win this season for Coggeshall who beat Galleywood by 17 runs. Individually, there were three centuries this week all coming in Division Three, Ryan Vickery (113) and Dan Wheeler (104no) for Kelvedon, and Toby Nickell-Lean (101no) for Great Horkesley & Lexden. Just the single fiverfer came from Galleywood’s Sam Adams in the T20 game against Coggeshall, where he claimed 5 for 33.

Read more: Week 8 (June 10th) - Victory for all eight home sides, as Stebbing reach a century of points

A disappointing week which saw yet another withdrawal from the NECL, significantly, Division One side Elmstead, the all too well known reason being cited, player availability on a Sunday. If there are any ideas out there to make the Sunday game more appealing, particularly to the younger age groups, apart from T20 which is already on offer, then please get in touch with the Exec Committee.
On the field of play, the sun did shine for the majority of the day, and eight matches reached their conclusion. In Division One, Galleywood have their second win of the campaign following a home victory over Clacton. In Division Two, Halstead are back on top of the pile with a seven wicket victory over Abberton, Great Totham were convincing winners at home to Eight Ash Green, while closest finish of the day came at Witham, where visitors Chappel & Wakes Colne prevailed by four runs. In Division Three, there appears to be no stopping Stebbing who made it four out of four with a five wicket win at Boxted, elsewhere, there were first victories of the season for Cavaliers by nine wickets over West Bergholt, and for Real Oddies by 87 runs over Great Horkesley & Lexden. Just one of the two scheduled T20 matches in the West Division took place, Braintree were unable to raise a side for their home game with Little Bardfield Village – the sides are looking to re-arrange, but if it is not possible the game will be recorded as a Braintree concession. On the pitch, Kelvedon are virtually assured of their second Finals Day appearance following an 11 run win over 2016 champions Coggeshall at Rye Mill Lane. Individually there was just one century, with Ashok Sharma recording an unbeaten 139 for Real Oddies, James Banks of West Bergholt was unlucky to miss out, scoring 98 out of his teams total of 128.

Read more: Week 7 (June 3rd) - Halstead and Stebbing remain unbeaten, as Elmstead withdraw

Just the five games in the NECL on a pleasant Bank Holiday Sunday. In Division One, leaders Wivenhoe made it three wins on the bounce with a 135 run win at home to Mistley. Colchester & E.E and Clacton served up the competitions first tied match in four seasons at Castle Park. In Division Two, Charlie Prudence did not get a century, but his Springfield side went back to the top of table with victory over Chappel & Wakes Colne. The only game in Division Three, saw Coggeshall run out winners at West Bergholt, in a high scoring game. Finally, Kelvedon & Feering are on the cusp of qualification for the T20 Finals Day after recording their second win in the West Division, with a 20 run success over T20 debutants Galleywood.
Individually, there were three centurions this week, with Wivenhoe’s Matt Durrell (127) scoring his second century of the season. Elsewhere Alisdair Marlow (111no) for Coggeshall and Andrew Kennedy (102) for Colchester & E.E. reached three figures.

Read more: Week 6 (May 27th) - Colchester & Clacton serve up a tie at the Park

The good and the bad of Sunday cricket was seen last weekend – with excellent weather, there was some standout cricket, however, the flip side saw four games conceded. On the field first and in Division One the records tumbled at Copdock, where the home side posted 324 for 3, with Sam Webb-Snowling posting an unbeaten 200. However, Colchester & E.E. recorded a league record run chase to win by five wickets with Taurai Muzurabani unbeaten on 142. Leaders Wivenhoe, were comfortable nine wicket winners at Galleywood. In Division Two, there was only one match, a top of the table game between Springfield and Halstead, which the visitors won by 4 wickets to leap frog their hosts in the table. In Division Three, Stebbing made it three from three with a home ten wicket win over Real Oddies, while West Bergholt began their campaign with a defeat at home to Boxted. The first T20 action of the season, saw Kelvedon emphatic winners over Braintree in the West Division.
Disappointingly and worryingly so early in the season, four games were conceded. In Division One, and probably most concerning, Elmstead conceded for the second time this season which resulted in a ten point deduction, although at least three of their players did turn out for Kelvedon in the T20. Clacton were the beneficiaries of the concession. In Division Two, Abberton conceded their trip to Witham, while Great Totham conceded to Chappel & Wakes Colne, although the clubs are looking at an alternative date for that one, so it is not recorded in the league table yet. Similarly, in Division Three, Coggeshall conceded to Great Horkesley & Lexden, but again the clubs are looking to re-arrange.
Individually, apart from the two daddy hundreds at Copdock, Springfield’s Charlie Prudence (113) posted his second century of the season in his sides defeat at home to Halstead, and Dan Wheeler (115no) posted a T20 century for Kelvedon. There was just one five wicket haul, coming from West Bergholt’s James Banks who returned 5 for 39 at home to Boxted.

Read more: Week 5 (May 20th) - Sam's Double in vain as Colchester complete record run chase

Heavy rain on Saturday afternoon, and throughout the evening saw the Sunday NECL Programme seriously threatened, despite the improving forecast on match day. However, out of the six matches scheduled it was just the two games in Division Two that were cancelled due to waterlogged pitches. Springfield with the six points for the cancellation move to the top of the division. In Division One, Wivenhoe bounced back emphatically from their defeat at Elmstead, with a 142 run win at Clacton. Matt Durrell and Brendan Louw both posting centuries in a mammoth Hoe total of 328 for 4. Three games in Division Three, saw Stebbing win their second game of the season, while favourites for honours Coggeshall and Kelvedon both opened up with tight away victories.

Read more: Week 4 (May 13th) Durrell and Louw go big in Wivenhoe win