After another near miss last week Maldon headed to Hadleigh knowing they were playing some good cricket and that they were well capable of defeating a high flying Hadleigh team.
On a used pitch Maldon lost the toss and Hadleigh unsurprisingly opted to bat first. The ever dependable opening bowling partnership of Matt Wild and Mackenzie Jones removed two of the Hadleigh top three to leave them 12 for 2.
A steady and patient hundred partnership from two of Hadleigh’s younger players put them back in control and when Toby Pugh made the breakthrough at 130 for 3, it meant a platform had been laid for the rest of the Hadleigh batsman to attack in the final 20 overs.
A quickfire fifty off 34 balls from Piddington aided by some sloppy ground fielding led Hadleigh to a substantial total of 265 for 5 with Pugh picking up a further two wickets.
Maldon responded positively with the opening batting partnership of Max Bryant and Jimmy Ainscough (45) putting on 70 for the opening partnership before Ainscough was unlucky to pick out the cover fielder with a fierce shot.
When Bryant (36) was then disappointingly run out when well set the Hadleigh spinners took control on the wearing pitch and when Wild approached the crease at 133 for 6 victory seemed unlikely. Along with Matt Anderson they proceeded to first rebuild and then set to destruct the Hadleigh attack with a flurry of boundaries including a six each.
Having reached 211 after a partnership of 78 the victory seemed on. Hadleigh then made the breakthrough removing Wild for 33 and although Anderson reached his fifty some momentum was lost and eventually Maldon finished 18 runs short after a valiant effort.
Next week Maldon entertain 7th placed East Bergholt for their last home game of the season.