Colchester and East Essex chairman Andrew Kennedy has hailed skipper Ben Stephens’ leadership qualities this season.

Stephens has helped guide the Castle Park side to the top of Shepherd Neame Essex League division one, following their relegation from the premier division.

Colchester are 15 points clear at the top of the table with eight games to go, ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with third-placed Buckhurst Hill.

Kennedy said: “The season’s going really well for us so far."

For more on this story and a full preview of the weekend's local cricket action, see Friday's Daily Gazette.