CANVEY Island were edged out 22-14 by Maldon in the semi-final of the Essex Presidents Shield.

Maldon took the lead with a penalty before Canvey hit back with a try from number eight Harry Atkins which was converted by Joe Sexton.

However, Maldon replied with a try of their own to lead 10-7 at the break but Canvey were back on top at the start of the second half with Charlie Downs scoring the try of the match after a well worked move involving both Sexton and Atkins.

But that was virtually the last time Canvey were out of their half as their pack was controversially reduced to seven players when second row Scott Wheeler was sent to the sin bin for reasons still being debated.

Maldon put the ensuing penalty kick into touch before catching the subsequent line-out and driving over to score a converted try.

Moments later, Wheeler returned to the action but his second row team-mate Jamie Breading was then also sent to the sin bin for not rolling away after a tackle.

Maldon again made the most of their extra man by scoring another try which left Canvey skipper Charlie Clarke a frustrated figure at the final whistle.

“We’re disappointed to lose but it was a big ask to play a tight game with only 14 men on the pitch for 20 minutes,” said Clarke.

“We will have to prepare ourselves for the last game of the season next week and make sure we finish the season in style.”