Mauled by rising Maldon

MALDON moved into the top three of the First Division of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship with an emphatic nine-wicket victory over Sudbury.

MALDON moved into the top three of the First Division of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship with an emphatic nine-wicket victory over Sudbury.

In brilliant weather conditions and on a flat track, Maldon stalwart Ian Elliott and Paul Raymond (89) put on 220 for the first wicket as the Essex side chased 248 for victory.

Elliott, 33, remained unbeaten on 126 as Maldon won by nine wickets to rise up the table.

Halstead stay top by virtue of an eight-wicket win over Mistley, with current champions Ipswich and East Suffolk moving into second place following their home five-wicket success over Exning.

“Halstead look the team to beat this summer,” said Maldon skipper Marc Gozzett.

“We have an Australian coach/batsman/spin bowler in Graham Skennar, but otherwise we mainly have a youngish side.

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“This is a season of consolidation, and we will take a rain check to see where we stand at the end of the campaign.”

Gozzett has no regrets about Maldon dropping down from the East Anglian Premier League at the end of last season and says the club is happy in the Two Counties.

“We can now compete on a level playing field,” he said. “We were trying to compete against sides who are spending thousands of pounds.

“With the prize for winning the EAPL title £2,000 this makes no logic.

“We are basically a local club and rely on building our own youngsters.

“There is not the strength in depth in the Two Counties League that there is in the EAPL. This applies to both batting and bowling.”

Peter Siegert scored 83 for the visitors in a game where 18 different bowlers were used - including the Sudbury wicketkeeper.

Promoted Bury St Edmunds II's find themselves in a hole after losing their fifth league game. They still await their first success after losing to Coggeshall by five wickets.

Current Suffolk batsman Tobias Hembry scored 39 and former Suffolk all-rounder Kevin Shaw made an unbeaten 49 in a total of 181.

This did not prove enough as Coggeshall won in 41 overs with Will Blackwell (66) and Dave Denny (62) involved in a fourth wicket partnership of 72.

Wivenhoe collected their first win with a notable two wicket success over Brightlingsea when chasing 234 for victory.

In Division Two, Copdock and Old Ipswichians are on course for a quick return to top-flight cricket having now won all five matches they have played.

Frinton are second having beaten second-bottom Easton by nine wickets. Easton's young batsmen Billy Robinson (44) and Tristan Steward (31) effected a middle-order recovery but the loss of early wickets saw Easton only manage 162 runs.

Frinton opener Tony Stubbs batted through for an unbeaten 36 with Australian Goodall notching a quick-fire 75 in just 39 balls to seal Easton's fate.

Tuddenham are the only side in Division Three with a 100% record after beating Halstead IIs by three wickets having chased 238 in 43 overs.

Keith Merrell opened for Halstead and batted through for an unbeaten 125, but D. Cross was in fine form for the visitors cracking 117 not out in another match where bowlers toiled in the hot sunshine.

Shaun Gould commemorated his first league match of the season by taking six wickets for 62 off 19 overs.

Unbeaten Haverhill stay top of the table with an impressive ten-wicket success at Wivenhoe IIs.

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