North Essex Cricket League

Sunday saw a cold and damp autumn day, which was probably not conducive to cricket, as the 2017 season comes to its inevitable close, with results in three of the five games played. In Division One Great Horkesley & Lexden ended a difficult season with a 64 run victory over fellow strugglers Eight Ash Green, condemning the Green to bottom place. Mistley were going well against championship chasing Wivenhoe when the rain hit at New Road. In Division Three, Springfield ended the season as Runners Up with their twelfth victory of the season, by defeating Chappel & Wakes Colne second string. In Division Four, Real Oddies are Runners Up as they beat the rain to complete a nine wicket victory over Great Braxted and Tiptree, while Coggeshall’s hopes were dashed by the rain and a waterlogged pitch at home to champions Braintree. Bowlers were on top this weekend with the stand out performance from Luke Conway of Great Horkesley & Lexden who claimed 6 for 27, including a hat trick against Eight Ash Green. Springfield’s Alan Warley also claimed a fivefor, returning 5 for 37 in his sides win over Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds.

Read more: Week 23 - September 17

The Division One title race will go down to the final game of the season on September 24th, when Frinton welcome Wivenhoe to Ashlyns Road. For the second time in three weeks Frinton were the beneficiaries of an Elmstead concession, which saw Elmstead slip to fifth in the table. Mistley climbed into fourth courtesy of an eight wicket victory over Great Horkesley & Lexden, while there was tight encounter at Fordham Heath, where the visitors Clacton prevailed by three runs over Eight Ash Green. The final game in Division Two saw Witham end with five wins on the bounce following a 75 run victory over Stebbing. In Division Three, the champagne was popped open at Galleywood as a 12 run victory over lowly Cavaliers saw them clinch back to back titles. Kelvedon claimed fourth place from nearest rivals West Bergholt with a seven wicket victory. Only one game in Division Four, saw Coggeshall climb into second place, with a win by concession over Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds who complete their campaign with four successive concessions.
There was just the one century coming from Stebbing’s Stephen Heywood (100no) in his team’s defeat at Witham. There were some near misses with Witham’s Michael Headley (91), Michael Godwin (96) and Cavaliers Noman Jalib (92) all perishing in the nineties. Mistley’s James Stamatis smashed an incredible unbeaten 75 off just 20 balls in his sides Division One victory at home to Great Horkesley & Lexden. The best bowling performance of the weekend came at Eight Ash Green, where Clacton’s Bradley Pitts claimed 5 for 30, whilst Mistley’s George Hutton returned 4 for 58 in his sides victory.

Read more: Week 22 - September 10

The last substantial weekend of the NECL season saw thirteen matches scheduled. Unfortunately, the curse of the season once again reared its ugly head with four more concessions to add to the total. In Division One, Frinton are keeping their hopes of retaining the title following a five wicket win at Eight Ash Green. Colchester & E.E beat Elmstead on Friday evening to move into third, but completed their programme on Sunday with defeat at Clacton, which almost certainly ensures survival for the coastal side. Elmstead can still claim third at Colchester’s expense, if they beat Frinton in their final game, after picking up twenty points following Great Horkesley & Lexden’s concession. Copdock are Division Two champions following a five wicket success over Halstead, while Chappel & Wakes Colne claimed the runners up spot, despite a four run defeat at home to Witham. Stebbing picked up twenty points following Gosfield’s concession but are condemned to the drop themselves. In Division Three, champions elect Galleywood were comfortable winners over Harwich & Dovercourt, who have served notice of their withdrawal from the competition in 2018. Kelvedon racked up the highest score of the season with a massive 368 for 4, in a 245 run win over Chappel & Wakes Colne seconds, while West Bergholt won by 17 runs in their match against Cavaliers. There was only one game in Division Four, as Coggeshall defeated Boxted by 71 runs. The other two games resulted in concessions as Great Horkesley & Lexden seconds conceded to champions Braintree, while Great Braxted & Tiptree conceded to Tendring.
Three centuries this weekend, saw the Kelvedon duo of Ollie Parsons (113) and Ed King (105) both reached three figures in their big total, while Coggeshall’s Louis Gibson (105) posted his third century of the campaign in his sides victory over Boxted. Duncan Walton of Galleywood took the only fivefor of the weekend, taking 5 for 26 against Harwich & Dovercourt.

Read more: Week 21 - September 3

A glorious Bank Holiday weekend in terms of sunshine and temperatures, saw the first silverware of the season claimed. On Sunday in the forty over competition, Braintree were crowned Division Four champions, albeit in rather farcical fashion as Great Braxted & Tiptree conceded at the ground ! On Monday an excellent days T20 and superb hospitality from Colchester & E.E, saw Wivenhoe crowned as NECL T20 champions for 2017. Castle Park also witnessed a run fest on Sunday, where Frinton kept the Division One title hopes alive by chasing down 299 for 8 against Colchester, it was the third biggest run chase since 1989. In Division Two, it is now a two horse race for the title after Chappel & Wakes Colne defeated ten man Halstead – Chappel will be hoping Halstead can defeat Copdock next week, and limit them to less than five points, while they win their remaining games. There was an excellent effort by eight man Stebbing, who went down by 61 runs chasing Ardleigh’s 233 for 3. While Great Totham were beneficiaries this week of a Gosfield concession. In Division Three, there was just the one game in mid table, where West Bergholt defeated Kelvedon by 7 wickets.
Individually, there were three centuries, not surprisingly in a game boasting 600 runs two centuries came at Castle Park, as Feroze Ahmed (156) of Colchester and Kemar Smith (146) of Frinton, scored the bulk of their sides totals. Ardleigh’s Kurt Lamont (119no) was the other centurion.

Read more: Week 20 - August 27 & 28

Not much cricket was scheduled for the weekend with just eight matches to coincide with the V Festival weekend. The schedule was further disrupted by three concessions, meaning that only five matches took place.
In Division One, a Liam Hope-Shackley (123no) century got Wivenhoe back on track with a nine wicket victory over bottom of the table Eight Ash Green. Elmstead’s title hopes were ended when they conceded at home to second place Frinton, with only six players to count on. An admin error in not informing the Results Secretary of the concession before 10pm on Saturday, resulted in a ten point deduction to see any title aspirations extinguished. In Division Two, Copdock gained from Gosfield’s concession and require just five points from their final game with Halstead on 3rd September to claim the title. Chappel & Wakes Colne are up to second following their victory at Stebbing, although the hosts did claim enough points to climb off the bottom of the Division. It is all change in Division Three, as Galleywood gazumped neighbours Springfield by seven wickets to go top, at Springfield’s expense. With Galleywood’s two remaining games against the bottom two in the Division they are now very short priced favourites to claim the title. Abberton ended their 2017 NECL season with a resounding win at home to West Bergholt, led by a five wicket haul by Alex Terry (5 for 30). In Division Four, the top of the table match was an anti climax with leaders Braintree steamrolling second placed Real Oddies by 143 runs. Tendring conceded their match at Boxted.

Read more: Week 19 - August 20

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