Wins for top three of Elmstead, Wivenhoe and Woolpit in Two Counties Championship
The top three teams in Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship all won last Saturday, as the race for the title continues going into the last four fixtures of the summer.
Elmstead remain a healthy 19 points clear at the top, following a 67-run win over Frinton 2nds, while second-placed Wivenhoe and third placed Woolpit beat the bottom two of Haverhill and Braintree respectively.
Elmstead recovered from a sticky start, when they lost both openers Jordan Elliott and Aidan O’Brien cheaply, to post a challenging 232 for nine off their 50 overs against Frinton at Vicarage Meadow.
From 25 for two, Mark Perrin and Ryan Vickery put on 100 for the third wicket. Perrin played the anchor role, with 24 off 70 balls, while the attack-minded Vickery powered to 78 off 69 deliveries.
Dan White added an unbeaten 57, although the innings feel away a little due to Ishmael Dar’s three for 45 and also two run outs.
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Frinton were soon in trouble, languishing on 15 for three after Jordan Elliott had bowled both openers, Ishmael Dar (6) and Joe Fowler (first-ball duck).
John Hambrook top-scored with 39, but Frinton subsided to 165 all out in 44.4 overs. Jordan Elliott returning to take the final wicket of Mohammed Iranpana, who had made a cameo 28 at No. 11.
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Once again, Liam Hope-Shackley tore an opposing attack to ribbons as Wivenhoe beat Haverhill by 39 runs.
Openers Matt Durrell (31) and Jordan Nicholls (34) both made useful early contributions, but the fact that Wivenhoe managed to get to 256 all out was due to the heroics of Hope-Shackley.
The Australian all-rounder celebrated another ton, blasting 10 sixes and 10 fours in his knock of 122, recorded off a mere 65 balls. Such was his dominance of the innings that seven of the last eight batsmen failed to even reach double figures.
Haverhill suffered the early blow of losing their captain, Adam Dellar, to only the third ball of the innings, Hope-Shackley inevitably taking the wicket.
But it was Joseph Nicholls’ four for 39, off his 10 overs, which ensured that the visitors never really got close to their target. They ended on 217 for eight, losing by 39 runs despite a half-century from opener Anthony Phillips (53).
Bottom club Braintree suffered their 12th defeat from 18 starts, at the hands of Woolpit, who have had an inconsistent season since their relegation from the East Anglian Premier League.
The Suffolk visitors, who won the toss and elected to bat, rattled up a huge 299 for three off their 50 overs, with all their top four batsmen compiling big scores.
Openers Jack Rowett (53) and Will Parker (51) put on 97 for the first wicket, before James Deeley and all-rounder Nathan Crudeli stepped up the pace with a dominant stand of 173 for the third wicket to take the score on to 299 at the end of the innings.
Deeley was unbeaten on 96 from 74 balls, including four sixes and nine fours, while Crudeli also smashed four sixes and seven fours in his 60-ball stay of 87.
Crudeli then caused considerable damage with the ball, removing both of Braintree’s opening batsmen, Chris Leech (8) and Warren Celiz (39), on his way to figures of 10-1-55-6.
A 97-run partnership for the fifth wicket, between Daniel Garner (51) and skipper William Jackson (84), at least gave Braintree some respectability before Crudeli returned to the attack to take four more wickets, including that of Jackson.
Braintree were eventually bowled out for 240, therefore losing by 59 runs.
Fourth-placed Maldon were beaten by seven wickets, at home to Worlington. Ian Elliott top-scored with 58, although Maldon’s modest total of 214 all out always looked vulnerable.
Cody Golding took five for 46 to give Worlington the upper hand, and the Suffolk visitors benefited from Graham Ford (66) and James Watson (52) sharing a partnership worth 108 for the second wicket.
Late contributions from Daren Hayward (a-run-a-ball 31) and Charlie Tunstall (30 not out off just 14 balls) saw Worlington scamper to a three-wicket win with 11 balls remaining. Tunstall struck an amazing four sixes in that 14-ball stay to take the game beyond Maldon, and keep Worlington above the drop zone.
Mistley are third-from-bottom, despite seeing off Essex rivals Witham by just seven runs in a tight contest.
James Scott made a patient 54 off 108 deliveries, but it was Adrian Stockton’s unbeaten 48 which gave impetus to Mistley’s innings in their final total of 211 for eight. In reply, opener Michael Godwin made 60, but Witham lost wickets at regular intervals, including two run outs to Stuart Dove, before finishing short of their target on 204 for seven.