First win of the 2019 season

Earls Colne travelled to West Mersea on Saturday 11th May to play their opponents 2nd XI on yet another damp and rain-threatened day. With a weakened opposition, only Graham Pryke from the hosts side was able to offer continued resistance carrying his bat through their innings for 70 not out.  For Colne, the familiar problems persisted of not taking all the opponents wickets, but the bright spots were Jack Holdgate taking all the wickets to fall and finishing with figures of 3-27, the return of Luke Booty to the attack, and Harry Porcher bowling a tight line, so that 7 maiden overs were sent down in total.  West Mersea finished on 91-3 after the agreed shortened innings of 35 overs.

Following an excellent tea, skipper Daryl Sleeman and Tom Bosworth set about the target with rapidity, reaching 92-0 in less than 10 overs, with Daryl reaching 56 and Tom 34.   The skipper was relieved after the previous week’s setback and stated that with a far larger pool of players to pick from, and Wednesday evening nets’ attendance on the up, it was starting to look difficult whom to leave out for the next game, Saturday 18th at home to Witham.

Tough lessons between the showers

Earls Colne travelled to Maldon on Saturday 4th May to play their opponents 4th XI.  Pleasant surprise awaited them in that the main ground with it’s excellent wicket and covers were available for use; unpleasant surprise for both sides was that the rain showers were never far away, so seven balls into the Colne innings, the first rain break was taken.  However, with the available covers, both teams were determined to see a full game through.

Colne followed a path familiar from last season, with the opening pair of Daryl Sleeman and Pat Kerry making rapid progress to 70-0 within 10 overs.  Pat was then bowled by the first change bowler immediately for 27, and soon followed by Daryl, caught for 36.  Russell Dawes and Ian Doyle kept the innings together, falling for 22 and 25 respectively, but the real bonus was Paul Bromley’s 20, showing signs that with five players making good starts, there is real potential for the season.

After tea taken during another rain break, Colne took to the field to defend a slender total of 165.  Against an opening pair intent on immediate attack and an outfield that was rapidly drying, none of the Colne bowlers were able to make an impact, except Paul Bromley whose accuracy soon tired the patience of Richard Buckby, well stumped by keeper Ian Doyle for 44.  With some catches missed, Colne struggled to take any further wickets, with the other opening batsman, Matthew Shinn, fresh from playing for Maldon’s 1st XI the previous week, accelerating on to reach his century with the winning runs.

So a tough lesson, but some encouraging progress and some areas for Colne to work on before next week’s match at West Mersea.

First game of 2019 – Cold & Windy

With Storm Hannah approaching and arctic winds picking up, Earls Colne lost the toss and were made to bowl in our first and only friendly before the season against Writtle.
Some tight bowling from Daryl Sleeman and Harry Porcher kept the scoring slow and bagged a couple of early wickets. The first change brought about the change in run rate and Bosman (68*) and Alan (52*) started scoring with ease. Jack Holdgate got 2 more wickets but was expensive throughout his 8 overs and then Pat Kerry and Gavin Sleeman were the only other two to get a wicket. Writtle finishing on 289 for 6
After warming up with a cup of tea Earls Colne started the chase. Pat Kerry departing early for 4, that brought Colin Holdgate to the crease and with Daryl Sleeman steadied the ship and started to increase the run rate. Daryl then retired on 53 to give other batsman a chance. Colin went on to get 23 before cutting a full toss to cover. A few wickets fell bring Ian Doyle (25*) on his debut to the crease and he again steadied the ship and coached and batted sensibly with the tail to ensure we batted out our full 40 overs finishing on 148 for 7.
Well done all involved apart from weather it was a very enjoyable game and will set us up well for the season ahead.

Consistently inconsistent

After a fantastic run chase against Kelvedon,  Colne turned up at Boxteds not knowing what to expect. Jack strolled out and lost the toss and we were made to field on a very flat and dry wicket. With Mo stuck in traffic the Sleeman brothers opened the bowling. The Boxted openers played aggressive but sensible cricket and made it through to the first drinks break with no wicket falling. One making 89 and the other 49 before getting out. After some good running from the oppo batsmen and frustrating fielding from ourselves, plus an injury to the younger Sleeman brother Boxted made it to tea with Earls Colne needing 224 to win.

Quietly optimistic after last week’s run chase, Colne’s opening batsman walked out to the crease. But 4 overs later the optimism had been dampened as the captains golden duck and Sam’s short stay at the crease meant Colne were 10 for 2 wickets. Daryl Sleeman continued scoring freely allowing Pat Kerry to get his eye back in from his unbeaten century the previous week. Daryl departed on 46 after once again middling a ball straight to the fielder. Pat continued his good batting form but regularly lost partners the other end before being bowled round his legs for 38. Russ Dawes enjoyed some time out in the middle and started to regain his batting form before being caught off the edge to be the last wicket for 40 runs. Colne had managed 168 in reply.

Special mentions go to Luke Booty for his bowling and drastically improved batting and Harry Porcher for hitting his first boundary in men’s cricket !

Back to winning

Kevedon III’s came to town on Saturday 16th June, and once again confidence was slightly low with the home team having learnt late on that the two players who had scored 90% of our runs and bowled 26 of our overs the previous week would be unavailable.  But as we found out there are others ready to step up !

Kelvedon batted first and made good progress, reaching just under 100 at the drinks break.  A new bowling hero in the guise of an older player was found in Colin Holdgate who eventually took 4 wickets, and a smart one-handed catch from Jon Dawes also made up the highlight of the fielding performance.  Some weary bowling at the end however meant Colne would have to beat 228.

Dan Shynn & Sam Holdgate were sent in early so that they could get in, get out, then go to work; that worked out fine; Sam not holding back…6,4,out !  Torquil & Cap’n Jack also got some good runs before both were caught on a pitch which was still providing some bounce.

This bought together the ‘old men’ of the team, Pat & Colin. Approx 1 hour later and a 135 run partnership took the duo over the line, with Pat especially grateful to some friendly legside bowling that enabled him to score 16 out of 19 boundaries using his favourite heave, eventually reaching 113 n.o.

A great game to get our confidence back and good to see we have strength in depth at this level.

Deja vu on a batting collapse

Off to Harwich & Dovercourt (windy but sunny) on Saturday 9th June, with as strong a batting line-up as we will likely muster all season. Cap’n Jack won the toss and Daryl pickled up the 1st wicket early on.  H&D then provided some solid technical batting – big thanks to their other opener for walking after being caught behind off Russ’ bowling – but fortunately were nearly all prone to making some rash cross-bat hoiks.  Only one of their team reaching 50, whilst Daryl picked up 4 wickets and good to see Harry P back in the wickets.

After a sumptuous tea (which they were urging us to take home with us, so much was left) Torquil & Daryl set about chasing down 178.  Always good to see the opposition chirpiness in the field decline as the batsmen pick off the bad balls and this was no exception as the two reached 70 with effortless ease.  Daryl went on to make a 50, ably supported by Chintesh in his swashbuckling style including a lost-ball six.  However, once both these two were out to good catches, the inevitable happened and no-one else was able to pick up the runs required.  Cue the batting collapse and we limped up to 150 all out

Cricket is sometimes a statistician’s dream sport, and our batting numbers would provide some interesting content.  From our five completed matches so far this year, we’ve depended on batsmen 1-4 to score 95% of our runs; it’s asking too much, and satisfying though it is that we’ve been able to bowl the opposition out several times, we know where the challenge lies !

Kelvedon at home next week !


Back to earth with a bump

Saturday 2nd June, and for the 3rd home game in a row Earls Colne turned up with great enthusiasm and expectation to face West Bergholt 2nds.
Cap’n Jack lost the toss and we were asked to bat first, so Daryl and Torquil sauntered out to bat. After Daryl departed for 22 Torquil continued a fine batting display balancing defense with attacking shots. After he was caught for 43, Luke Wisbey  made light work of the rest of Colne’s batting line up finishing with the excellent figures of 8 wickets for 22 runs off 8 overs. Colne  all out for 101 in 27 overs.
After a tea provided by the chairman himself Colne took to the field knowing that a repetitions of the previous week’s good fielding display and tight bowling was needed. Needless to say everyone tried their best but after Brian Borges stuck around and scored 68*, Bergholt reached the target in 27 overs only losing 3 wickets.
A disappointing batting display with a famous Colne collapse was the main discussion over a pint(for those that stayed).  On to Harwich away next week!

Didn’t see this one coming….

Saturday 26th May rolled around and the local derby against fellow new entrants to the league, Chappel & Wakes Colne.  A late withdrawal of our lethal quickie, Gus Peters, had us more than a little worried about what damage to morale the all-conquering opponents might do to us.

Our fears were rapidly dispelled however thanks to (a) the skipper losing the toss (b) the early morning rain effect on the pitch & (c) the monotonous line & length of Mo, Daryl, & Russ.  When the last wicket went down in just the 35th over, our opponents had only made 76, and we were more than a little surprised, but it was credit to the whole team that great fielding performance had helped no end.  Russ Dawes starred with 4 wickets & 3 catches…which just about cancels out those 2 consecutive boundaries which went through his legs the previous week !  Special mention must also go to Cap’n Jack for being hauled off for bowling 2 beamers….but since he also picked up 2 rapid wickets, we’ll forgive.

Our next concern of the powerful C&WC bowling attack also came to nothing, as Daryl & Pat were able to pick off the runs in just 14 overs, nearly all in boundaries.  Game over by 4.30pm !


Our thoughts also go to the C&WC players, friends and family of their club member Nigel Swain, whose recent passing was respectfully marked by our opponents wearing black armbands.

Grasping defeat from the jaws of victory…almost

Royal Wedding, FA Cup Final, Beer & Prosecco Festival at the club, glorious weather…everything was pointing towards a great day for our 1st home league game for 3 years on 19th May.  Putting out our strongest side yet out against Eight Ash Green filled us with confidence that we should take an easy win…but we chose to do it the hard way !

EAG batted first and made slow progress (45-2 after 20 overs) but then cut loose with some of our more wayward bowling.  Mo starred with the ball with 4 wickets, and we were set the target of 176 to win.

Torquil & Daryl started well but after they both departed, Chintesh & Pat then put on 90 to take us to 145-2.  Victory beckoned with 10 overs to go, so a collapse was needed to give the watching crowds a little concern, and a collapse is what they got !  Well done to Jon for smashing the winning boundary after we’d lost 4 wickets for 0 runs and seemed on the cusp of throwing it all away.


Another Washout

Despite travelling over to West Mersea with a full-strength team, the weather once more denied several of us our first cricket of the season.  With respect to the oppo (they did give us an early tea after all) their pitch would have given 30 rugby players cause for concern, so us delicate cricket players chose to go watch the IPL instead.

Unfortunate that for the 2nd time in 3 weeks, we travelled all the way not to even get changed, but here’s hoping that we’ve now seen our share of matches called off for the 1st half of the season.  Next week (19th May) 1st home league match for 3 years !  & a Beer Festival !!