Maldon cricket club under 12s pushed Brentwood to the limit in the quarter final of the Brian Taylor Trophy in sweltering heat on Sunday at Drapers. Skipper Tom Doherty won the toss and elected to bowl first. The decision looked to have backfired as Maldon struggled in the heat, the Brentwood openers making good progress and reaching 50 in quick time.
A Joe Hazell run out, and some tight bowling from Callum Webb wrestled back some control. Outstanding work behind the stumps from wicket keeper Tom Doherty saw several Brentwood players fall to stumpings but the heat took its toll on the fielders and runs continued to leak past some tired legs, something that would come back to haunt Maldon in the end. Brentwood were all out from the last ball of the 30 overs but posted a testing total of 202.
The Maldon response started well with a superb opening stand of 82 from Joe Hazell and Toby Hankins. Hankins was particularly impressive reaching his maiden half century of 53 balls.
The loss of Hazell brough Luke Thorn to the crease but some high-class spin bowling dried up the runs. Thorn eventually bowled for 11 leaving Maldon at 103 for 2 and needing to up the scoring to over 10 an over to get the win. Tom Doherty came in and took the fight to Brentwood with aplomb scoring freely all around the ground with a devastating display of batting.
The loss of Hankins did little to slow the rate with Callum Webb proving an able partner for Doherty. With boundaries flowing freely on the baked outfield Doherty reached his 50 in less than 30 balls and the impossible looked on. Maldon needed 12 off the final over when disaster struck, Doherty going for broke holed out in the deep for a magnificent 69 from 39 balls. Doherty junior Jake came to the crease but the 7 runs from 3 balls proved too much with Brentwood winning by 5 runs.
Spectators were blown away by the quality of cricket in such heat. The game played in a magnificent spirit, a testament to both sides. Best of luck to Brentwood for the semi-final.