MISTLEY'S stuttering start to the season has become a distant memory after the Swans made it three straight Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship victories.

Graeme Butcher's men followed up their first division victories against Ipswich and Lakenheath with a 62-run success at Halstead, on Saturday.

After being put into bat, there was another match-winning contribution from Khalipha Cele.

The South African blasted 129 not out to underpin the Swans' total of 233 for nine, from their 50 overs.

Josh King (59 not out) and opener Neale Dakin (48) led the fight for Halstead but they finished on 171 for seven, taking seven points compared to Mistley's 18.

Jimmy Goff's tremendous five-wicket haul kept them in check and there were a couple of wickets for star man Cele.

Wivenhoe are going strong at the top of the table after winning by 27 runs at Woolpit.

Their latest success - their fifth out of seven matches - was largely thanks to Tom Durrell's 57, 46 from James Butcher and three wickets apiece for Matt Durrell and Dirk Bruwer.

Two Essex sides met at Hare Field as Witham triumphed by eight wickets at Coggeshall.

Greg Stephens (four for six in 6.3 overs) and Carl Bragg (four for 38 in ten overs) left the hosts shell-shocked and all out for 145.

Openers Chris Huntington (72) and Michael Godwin (59 not out) ensured their side got home with minimal fuss, with the contest over in the 32nd over.

The other game of note saw Maldon sneak home by 11 runs at Lakenheath.

Max Bryant's half-century set them on the road to victory before Toby Pugh spun his way to a five-for, helping his side to 19 points.

Braintree are the new second division leaders after winning by four wickets at home to Kesgrave.

They have replaced Frinton, whose winning start was halted by a 36-run defeat against East Bergholt at Ashlyns Road.

There was no doubting the star man for Braintree, with Dean Bass following up his excellent bowling spell (four for 54 in 12.5 overs) by hitting 82.

Over at Frinton, captain Sam Foster (71) led by example for Bergholt, hitting 71 and then taking three wickets. Nathan Philpott also snared three victims.

Frinton's top performers were Joe Fowler (49), Daniel Loveless (45) and Dan Carter (three for 68).

Coastal neighbours Clacton made it back-to-back wins after prevailing by four wickets at Dunmow.

Imran Sheikh's five-for was key to their success before a match-winning knock of 70 from Bradley Pitts.

It was not such a good day for Copford and Elmstead, who lost to Mildenhall and Sudbury respectively.

Aidan O'Brien and Craig Watts were both unfortunate to finish on the losing side after hitting 61 apiece for Elmstead.

In the other game of note, James West's unbeaten 66 helped Kelvedon and Feering win by four wickets at home to Little Bardfield Village.

In division three, Alex Terry's five-wicket haul, allied to sizeable knocks from Richard Moxon (76) and Benjamin Bowles (59), helped hosts Abberton win by one wicket against Haverhill seconds.