Maldon travelled to Worlington in what felt like a must win game going into it. The visitors welcomed back all-rounder Ian Elliott, who had missed the defeat to Halstead the previous week.
On a parched looking venue, it was the hosts who won the toss and chose to bat. The Maldon opening bowlers soon made Worlington question this decision, with two wickets in the opening four overs. Matt Wild comprehensively bowled Colin Thompson with the 3rd ball of the match, before Matt Anderson dismissed Sean Cooper without scoring.
From 9 for 2, Worlington needed to rebuild, and the next partnership proved pivotal in the outcome of the game. Ben Atkinson (68) and Ollie Gallop (59) added 130 for the third wicket in a partnership that steadily kept the scoreboard moving a 4 an over.
A misunderstanding led to a run out which broke the partnership, and this was followed by a procession of wickets as Maldon charged back into the game. Keith Sharp (3/19) and Ian Elliott (2/44) led the comeback, as the final 8 wickets fell for the addition of just 37 runs. The final total of 177 look very obtainable, especially with the outfield speeding up as the game progressed.
Maldon’s reply began at a rapid pace, with Max Bryant and Ross Walpole scoring at 6 runs per over in the early stages. When Bryant (12) and the pint-sized Walpole (28) fell, Martyn Coker and Ian Elliott both continued to regularly find boundaries to keep the score moving.
At 92 for 2 after just 15 overs, Maldon only required a further 86 runs from 35 overs with 8 wickets remaining. From this apparently dominant position, the game turned violently in Worlington’s favour with 4 wickets falling in 22 runs. Elliott (16) fell caught at point, before Matt Anderson, Ben Gibbons and Martyn Coker (35) all fell lbw to Craig Woolard, with each batsman feeling they were unlucky to have been dismissed.
Matt Wild attempted to bring the finishing line closer with a series of big hits, but he found support lacking at the other end, as each of the final three Maldon batsman fell for ducks. Maldon ended on 146, 31 runs short of their hosts.
Maldon will now move onto their next encounter against Hadleigh at Drapers Farm desperate for a win to boost morale.