Earls Colne travelled to Maldon on Saturday 4th May to play their opponents 4th XI. Pleasant surprise awaited them in that the main ground with it’s excellent wicket and covers were available for use; unpleasant surprise for both sides was that the rain showers were never far away, so seven balls into the Colne innings, the first rain break was taken. However, with the available covers, both teams were determined to see a full game through.
Colne followed a path familiar from last season, with the opening pair of Daryl Sleeman and Pat Kerry making rapid progress to 70-0 within 10 overs. Pat was then bowled by the first change bowler immediately for 27, and soon followed by Daryl, caught for 36. Russell Dawes and Ian Doyle kept the innings together, falling for 22 and 25 respectively, but the real bonus was Paul Bromley’s 20, showing signs that with five players making good starts, there is real potential for the season.
After tea taken during another rain break, Colne took to the field to defend a slender total of 165. Against an opening pair intent on immediate attack and an outfield that was rapidly drying, none of the Colne bowlers were able to make an impact, except Paul Bromley whose accuracy soon tired the patience of Richard Buckby, well stumped by keeper Ian Doyle for 44. With some catches missed, Colne struggled to take any further wickets, with the other opening batsman, Matthew Shinn, fresh from playing for Maldon’s 1st XI the previous week, accelerating on to reach his century with the winning runs.
So a tough lesson, but some encouraging progress and some areas for Colne to work on before next week’s match at West Mersea.