WITHAM Cricket Club captain Jake Wakelin is not feeling the heat of being the front runners in the race for the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one title.

A 120-run win against Maldon last weekend - led by a century from Wakelin - kept Witham at the top of the table as they extended their winning run to seven games in a row and remained on course for a first-ever Two Counties crown.

With eight games to go, starting with a trip to reigning champions and fourth-placed Worlington on Saturday, Witham know it won't be easy as there are two sides sitting just a point behind them, but Wakelin feels his players shouldn't be feeling any pressure.

"Pressure is for tyres - there is no pressure on us," he said.

"It is what it is and the defining factor is whether you can play good enough cricket.

"In my opinion, the next three or four weeks are vital as the top few teams will all be playing each other.

"We have Worlington, who are fourth, on Saturday and then Wivenhoe, who are third.

"It is very close at the top and there will be hiccups for everyone, but if we can get another win then it will only strengthen our position.

"Worlington still want to defend their title and they'll be wanting to beat us, but all we can worry about is ourselves and keep doing what we have been."

Wakelin expected some changes to Witham's line-up from the one that beat Maldon, though, as Billy Moulton-Day, Kaan Hawes and James Smith were all likely to be unavailable.

However, Leroy Facey is due to return and Wakelin was confident that Witham had the strength in their squad to continue their impressive run.

"It really was a good all-round performance with different people putting their hands up," he added.

"Maldon have been a bit of a bogey team for us at times in recent years, but we have got over that hurdle this year and we've gone and beaten them twice now. "We had every one contributing once again and that's the sign of a good side in my book.

"We have match-winners from one to 11 in whatever side we put out."

The game against Maldon showed once again the depth of talent that Witham have to call on as players stood up to play their part in the team success.

Wakelin led the way with the bat as he struck a century and there were half centuries from James Smith and Michael Godwin as they made 269 for eight from their 50 overs.

Ken McClure then took four for 20 and Billy Moulton-Day three for 48 as Maldon were all out for 149.

Wakelin added: "We batted first on what we felt was a decent wicket and what was important was that we got a solid foundation at the top, so it was good that Michael Godwin and Chris Huntington did that.

"Chris made 31 and Michael batted very well for another half century and that set us up nicely.

"Ken (McClure) and Jim Suett were the only ones to not really get going with the bat, although Jim was a bit unlucky in getting run out, but myself and Jim Smith had a really good partnership.

"I then had a mad few overs at the end to get up to a century when I struck the ball as well as I have for a while and got us up to 269.

"Maldon have a good bowling attack with players like Matt Anderson who can take wickets, so we felt 270 was a good score because, with our own bowling attack, we know we can defend a score.

"They got off to a good start, though, and were 81 without loss, but we stuck at it and got the breakthrough.

"Ken McClure bowled brilliantly and Carl Bragg as well and then the pace of Billy (Moulton-Day) was just too quick for their tail end."