MALDON had to make the long trip to Mildenhall in the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one.
After winning the toss, Martyn Coker elected to bat but the Maldon top three struggled to score fluently against bowlers Jack Beaumont (2-23), Duncan Fraser (1-11) and Tom Allen (3-15).
Pete Wargent (17) dug his heels in until he was bowled.
A degree of defiance was shown by Reece Bawden as he struck 18 at a respectable rate.
Once he was dismissed there was more hope for Maldon as Ross Walpole (13) and Toby Pugh (16) forged a 31-run partnership before a smart run out split the two.
Maldon finished on 102, a low score against a top quality home side.
This did not stop the bowlers taking a few wickets with them as they went and Jamie Glenn (2-16) struck early to send Alex Reynolds (3) packing.
Lightning struck twice as Glenn then bowled South African Kobus Scholtz next ball.
It took slightly longer to dismiss skipper Ben Shepperson (24) but Toby Pugh (1-35) eventually prospered as the captain spooned a catch to mid-off.
While Maldon were taking wickets at one end, they could not stem the tide of runs from in-form Essex opener Tom Westley (70 not out) as he dominated the innings with calculated shots and power.
This loss broke Maldon’s three-match win streak.