Week 19 (August 21) – Halstead and Witham both squander chance to take the Div 1 title, Great Totham champions of Division 2

Published by: North Essex Cricket League
Published on 24 August 2022
Last Updated: 13 September 2022

Top two in Division One, both miss the chance to claim the silverware as they both lose, while Great Totham are Division Two champions.

Division One

The top two both travelled knowing that any slip ups now would probably be fatal in their title aspirations. However, incredibly both lost to see the title go to an early September finale.

Leaders Halstead completed their season at close neighbours Sudbury, who batted first after winning the toss. Darren Batch (43) and Paddy Sadler (41) gave the hosts a confident start with an opening stand of 82. Alex Quin (40) and Kenny Moulton-Day then put on a fourth wicket stand of 94 as Sudbury brought up the 200. Moulton-Day (73 from 46 balls) was eventually bowled by Aaron Read (2 for 47), but some lively late order cameos saw Sudbury reach 264 for 7. In reply, Charles Thomas (3 for 39) made early inroads into the Halstead innings, reducing them to 18 for 2, before Charles Mallett (39) and Ryan Vickery put on 58 for the third wicket. While Vickery (65) was there Halstead were in the contest, so when Ben Reece (2 for 46) claimed his wicket with the score on 147 and six down, the odds were stacked in favour of Sudbury. However, a late charge from Shair Sullaman (47), Max Chu (20) and Aaron Read (34 including 4 sixes) saw Halstead rally to 242 all out in the 38th over.

At Springfield, Witham were looking to move to the top spot with a win. The hosts batted first after winning the toss and saw Matt Trim (34) and Freddie Williams (74) put on 112 for the first wicket. Ollie Cooke (2 for 46) claiming both their wickets. Thereafter, Joe Allen dominated the rest of the innings, the Witham bowler taking 6 for 41 from his 9 overs, as Springfield were restricted to 210 for 9. James Gooday (37no) and Noah Pothen (25 from 10 balls) getting them up to that score. Ollie Cooke (40) scored well at the top of the order as the reply began, but two excellent bowling spells saw Witham capitulate. Matt Trim (2 for 19 from 9 overs) and Callum Eva (4 for 22 from 9 overs). A seventh wicket stand between Kaan Hawes (39) and Joe Allen (33no) gave Witham the slightest of chances, but once that was broken the end came fairly quickly, with Charlie Prudence (2 for 65) picking up two late wickets to see the visitors bowled out for 176.

With 16 points between Halstead and Witham, the title will come down to Witham’s final game on the 4thSeptember, when they hopefully travel to bottom of the table Galleywood who have struggled to get a side out for most of the season. Anything but a win for Witham will see Halstead claim the title.

Galleywood did manage to get a side out for the visit of Colchester & E.E who were playing their final game of the campaign. Galleywood batted first and posted 206 for 9 from their 40 overs, with Harry Jacobs (41) and Charlie Murray (43 from 26 balls). Colchester used nine bowlers in the innings with H Eaton (3 for 25 from 8) the stand out performer. In reply, Colchester comfortably chased down the total with opener Ben Robinson (102) posting a century. An unbroken fifth wicket stand of 66 between Eaton (45no) and Daniel Gladwell (20no) seeing Colchester to a six wicket success.

Unfortunately, the postscript to this game is that Colchester were deducted the 20 points by playing an ineligible player (Rule 30), one of their players having played earlier in the season for another club in Division Two of the NECL. Furthermore, the deduction could have been avoided if they had followed Rule 30B, ‘a club must seek permission from the Exec Committee for a player to make their seasonal NECL debut after July 31st’. If that request had been made, it would have been declined, the player would not have played and Colchester would have kept the points  !

Division Two

Effectively the Division Two title decider saw Great Waltham and Great Totham lock horns on Sunday. Totham playing their final game of the season, knew that a win would all but put them in an unassailable position at the top. Batting first after winning the toss, Totham posted 207 for 8 from their 40 overs, with opener Joe Davis (59) and Joshua Chadwick (43) scoring most. Matthew Vale scored an important unbeaten 25 at the end of the innings. Harrison Parr Ozols (3 for 26) was the pick of the home bowlers. Waltham opener Daniel Bloom (50) top scored in the reply, eventually being the sixth man dismissed with the score of 150. Only Kieran Webb (34) managed to provide any real assistance for Bloom. Joe Davis (4 for 24 from 9) and Owen McCausland (3 for 23 from 9), plus three catches at the wicket for Tim Logue saw Waltham slip to 153 for 9 and Totham sipping the champagne. However, a last wicket stand of 35 between Alfie Webb (17) and James Taylor (15no) got the hosts closer than what they really should have done, finally dismissed for 188 in the 39th over, and a 19 run defeat.

Great Totham having completed their programme are on 164 points, Waltham with two games to go can only get to 163, while West Bergholt with three games left can get to 161.

The other game in Division Two saw West Mersea claim the points at home to Great Horkesley & Lexden who unfortunately were unable to field a side.


Finally, in the T30 there was a 29 run win for Tendring over close neighbours Great Bentley. Batting first, Tendring were indebted largely to a half century from Own Jenno (52rno) and late innings from DJ Messenger (22) and Daniel Gibson (24no) for getting them up to 151 for 6 from their 30 overs. Lily Wainer (4 for 13 from 5) had reduced the hosts to 23 for 4 at the start of the innings. Bentley recovered from losing a wicket first ball, with Josh Fowler (34) and Alfie Youngs (42) putting on 58 for the second wicket. However, with D Loveless (21) the only other player to reach double figures they were bowled out for 122 in the final over.

Next weekend the attention turns to T20 Finals Day at Halstead on Sunday. Play commences at 11am with the two semi finals, Halstead vs Mistley on the main pitch, and champions Coggeshall vs Wivenhoe on the second pitch. The final is expected to start at 3pm, with presentations following the game.

Halstead are also running their Annual Beer Festival over the weekend, so what could be better, a full days cricket and beer !

In Division Two, the only game sees Great Waltham entertain Eight Ash Green, while there are three games in the T30, Brightlingsea welcome Sudbury, Chappel & WC host Copford and Kelvedon are at home to Tendring.

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