Essex head coach Anthony McGrath admitted the performances of Colchester's Charlie Allison and fellow youngster Noah Thain were positives to take from their Metro Bank One Day Cup campaign.

Having finished bottom of their group with a single win over Middlesex and six defeats, after their first match at Lancashire was abandoned, McGrath admitted the 50-over competition had been a disappointment.

But he took solace in the displays of the talented teenagers who were given their chance to impress with senior members of the squad unavailable.

"We've been really consistent in T20 and Championship and the lads, or majority of lads, playing in this competition haven't had much game time," he told the club website.

"It's their chance to really stake a claim. Unfortunately that's not happened, that can happen.

"But on the positive side, we've seen a couple of young 18-year-olds, Charlie and Noah, who've hardly played second-team cricket and coped really well. I think they've been fantastic.

"Great to get Luc [Benkenstein] back, another 18-year-old, so the younger guys have come in, actually probably the most consistent performers outside Beau [Webster]."

Allison played in all eight matches and scored 254 runs in seven innings (36.28), including half-centuries against Middlesex and Leicestershire.

Thain, meanwhile, appeared six times and scored 159 runs at an average of 39.75 and posted half-centuries against Leicestershire - in a 105-run stand with Allison - and the last match against Surrey.

"The character, when you come in and make your debut like that, having hardly played any men's cricket for Essex," added McGrath.

"You want them to come in, 200 for two or something like that, but they've come in in some really difficult situations, both Charlie and Noah, and more than coped, actually got us to scores where we've nearly won games.

"That shows a lot about the personality, the character and I think anyone watching them, you wouldn't know it was their first games, the way they've gone about it.

"The body language, the way they've coped, the crowds have been excellent all throughout the competitino and they've coped with that as well. It's been a really promising start for them two in their Essex careers."

And despite the mitigating factors that affected team selection, McGrath was not looking for excuses.

"We can't hide away from the fact we've been poor really in most games," he said.

"Too many individuals probably not performing where they can do and that obviously affects the team.

"No hundreds in the tournament, we struggled to get wickets in the powerplay, so overall disappointing.

"We've got six or seven with the Hundred, three or four injuries, three or four are resting in this tournament.

"We mix in quite a lot, so we understand that, but still it's professional sport and if you play for Essex we expect a lot."