CLACTON Cricket Club chairman Gary Kirk questioned players' attitudes after watching his team slide to a 14-run defeat against East Bergholt.

The sides met in a Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship second division contest at Vista Road.

Clacton had gone into Saturday's fixture on the crest of a wave, following the previous week's convincing nine-wicket victory at Elmstead.

But they failed to reach those same high standards and Kirk could not hide his disappointment after a bitterly frustrating day at Vista Road.

"It's so frustrating to see such good players perform so badly, especially after our great win the previous week," he told the Gazette.

"I have to question some of the players' attitude.

"The fielding was terrible and some of the bowling was, at best, substandard.

"I'm not sure what the problem was but most simply didn't turn up.

"East Bergholt won the game because they controlled it.

"They outperformed us in most areas, especially the bowling and fielding, and that's where we lost the game.

"We showed more character when batting but fell flat during the middle overs and left ourselves too much to do."

East Bergholt won the toss and batted on a good-looking pitch.

Clacton skipper Harlan Grieg took a wicket with his first ball but Sam Foster proceeded to play some elegant shots, scoring at more than a run a ball to bring up his 50 in 35 balls.

This theme continued against an indifferent Clacton attack.

East Bergholt eventually posted 233 for nine, with Foster making 73.

This score was boosted by 80 runs from the last nine overs - something that ultimately came back to bite Clacton.

The Seasiders made a solid reply, matching Bergholt's innings, and Matt O'Brien continued his recent form with 32.

However, the hosts lost vital wickets and the scoring rate stagnated as they looked to rebuild their innings.

Skipper Greig, who scored three sixes in his 39, looked set but then played a poor shot which left Brad Pitts (58, including six fours and three sixes) and Lewis Kirk (30) scoring at a run a ball to change the tempo of Clacton's innings.

The lower order all contributed and tried hard but eventually the run chase was in vein as they ended 14 runs short of the total, after their 45 overs.

"Only Lewis, who continued his excellent bowling this season, with four for 44, and part-time spinner Kieran Parkes (three for 44) allowed any control of the game," added Kirk.

"Our bowlers had a really bad day and when you needed the fielding to help turn things around, we were simply not good enough."

Clacton, who are away to Kesgrave on Saturday, took nine points compared to East Bergholt's 19.

"The Tendring Council groundsman really worked hard on the pitch after the terrible weather we had all week," added Kirk.

"He deserves a lot of praise as we didn't think we'd be in a position to play the game."