In these unprecedented times, a truncated season was preferable to no season at all and after the government restrictions were announced, the Home Counties invited teams to form a localised County Veterans League with allowances for new players. The format decided was on a round-robin basis, culminating in a play-off final.
We started our season with a visit to Harrow, where despite a century from Ecclestone, Middlesex ran out comfortable winners by 57 runs.
Our next game was at Dunmow CC against Hertfordshire. Essex scored 259-8 (R Wilson 91, M Malik 40), but in reply Hertfordshire could only muster 221.
We followed up with another home win at Dunmow by beating Surrey by 2 wickets. Surrey 175 (D Lloyd 5-57), whilst Essex scored 176-8 (S Hartnell 44*, C Desai 30*).
The match versus Berkshire fixture was washed out, leaving Essex needing a win at Horsham to qualify for the final. Sussex made 221-7 which was knocked off by Essex quite comfortably, surpassing the score with only 3 down.
The final was played at Hutton CC against a previously unbeaten Middlesex side. On a damp wicket, Middlesex batted first & collapsed to 140 all out against our 4 pronged spin attack. (Arshad Ali 3-28 & Man of the Match, C Desai 6-19).
Essex achieved the target for the loss of just 5 wickets. Thanks to some determined batting against an excellent Middlesex attack, Essex reached 141-5 off 28.1 overs.(G Ecclestone 63*, S Hartnell 21*).
A big thanks to Darren Tredgett & all those at Hutton CC for hosting a great day in some difficult weather conditions.
The season was productive with both the Essex A & B Teams fielding a combined total of 37 different players which should stand us in good stead for next year.
Congratulations to Mel Hussain, and a big thanks to Barry Clayden & Vince Mulholland for their sterling efforts in organising 50+ cricket who also run some of our league clubs & continue to fuel interest down to the younger generations.