Our budding correspondent Joe Smith sends this blow by blow account from the front…..
Earls Colne vs. Ardleigh 21/9/13
So it came to this, after last week’s defeat to Bergholt, a win was needed for us to finish 2nd, the loser would finish 3rd, possibly even 4th depending on other results. The stakes could not be higher.
Arriving at the ground, we were surprised to see a pitch with a shed load of worm casts, and the roller being deployed 20 minutes before the game, it certainly looked like a September wicket!
Everyone was on time; Daryl won the toss and decided to bat (after our frankly piss-poor attempt at chasing last week, who could blame him!).
We started really well, un-Colne like, Daryl was in usual free hitting mode, latching onto anything short of a length, Chintesh was more watchful, looking set to be there for the duration. The Ardleigh bowling was accurate but could not get through Colne’s early batsman. Daryl and Chintesh batted until the drinks break, putting 88 on the board, Daryl had passed 50, but was shortly out after the drinks break for 56, as he and Chintesh put on 90+ for the first wicket. Chintesh fell soon after for 46 trying to attack the new spin bowler Barrell, Colne had a bit of a mini collapse after that, Archie was out for 6, Will Dunn 0, Ollie Bond 10, George Cranfield 6, David Holme 4, all dismissed by Barrell who had been very accurate, we were suddenly 148 for 7, and struggling to meet a par total of 175. Cue Joss Wilkinson at 7 and Lee Parish at 9 who played very sensibly, mixing good running with some cultured shots, which realized a partnership of 50 for the 8th wicket. Lee ended up 31 not out, Joss 27 not out and at the end of 45 overs we ended up on 198 for 7. We felt this was a really competitive total.
After a fantastic spread, of cake, egg sarnies and donuts we took to the field knowing we had set a good total, but would need to be on our toes in the field and bowl well to restrict them on a small boundary.
Lee and Joe opening up managed to restrict Ardleigh to 28 for 1 off off the first 15, Lee removed the dangerous Kurt Lamont (who had scored 88 in the first fixture earlier in the season), thanks to a great bit of teamwork from Archie and John in the slip cordon (later found out that Jon fractured his finger diving for the catch!).
Bland and Lydon the number 1 and 3, however managed to see of the opening spells and started to increase the rate of the change bowlers, Bland reaching 50 after offering up a few chances to Colne, Ardleigh got to 100 for 1 and looked on course to chase down our total, the introduction of David Holme from the top end, however turned the course of the game. Dave may not be as accurate or consistent as some bowlers, but he has a knack of breaking partnerships and taking wickets. He dismissed Bland for 52, caught by Lee, Chandler was then run out for 1 and Lydon was dismissed caught by Chintesh off Dave, off a lovely long hop! We managed to reduce Ardleigh to 126-7, from a period between 15-25 overs where we nodded off; we had got back into it thanks to some great fielding and all round pressure from the bowlers. Ardleigh were eventually dismissed in the 42nd over for 160.
Colne win by 39 runs, and finish 2nd in Piri Piri Div3 and are runners up for 2013!
P W L V BON TOT AVE
N Springfield W 16 12 3 1 19 259 17.27
Earls Colne 16 11 4 1 22 242 16.13
Ardleigh 16 9 5 2 34 214 15.29
Gt Horkesley 16 9 5 2 29 209 14.93
West Bergholt 16 10 6 0 34 234 14.63
Gt Totham 16 6 9 1 44 164 10.93
Wormingford 16 5 9 2 39 139 9.93
Harwich & Dvct 16 2 12 2 59 99 7.07
Abberton 16 2 13 1 57 97 6.47