MALDON Cricket Club’s good start to the season is slowly evaporating.

They began their Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one campaign with victories over champions Frinton and Witham.

However, this has been followed by three back-to-back defeats. The latest was an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of visiting Coggeshall on Saturday.

Maldon batted first and posted a score of 131 but Coggeshall breezed past their target with a total of 132-2.

Maldon skipper Martyn Coker said: “We were confident ahead of the game as Coggeshall’s key player Will Blackwell was missing the game, and so we hoped this may have given us an advantage.

“However, we lost by eight wickets after batting first for the fifth consecutive league game.

“Jamie Glenn (58) batted well, but during the middle of the innings we slowed our run rate dramatically.

“We were unable to rotate the strike or score many runs. I think there was an 11-over spell when we scored just nine runs. “Our total of 131 was well below a competitive score on the pitch at Drapers Farm which was slow, but still good to bat on.”

And it was Coggeshall that took advantage of the batting surface when they took to the crease.

Coker said: “In reply, Jack Riley took an early wicket, but Coggeshall’s overseas player Dane Cleaver and former captain Jimmy Rees took the game away from us.

“Cleaver top scored with 74 from 54 balls before he was stumped by Jimmy Ainscough, off the bowling of Toby Pugh. “Rees hit an unbeaten 40 as Coggeshall reached their total comfortably inside their overs, as we struggled to control the run rate.

“We picked up just three bonus points, meaning we are now tenth in the league.

“We have an important game at Hadleigh on Saturday. They have also struggled at the start of this season.”