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50 and out! Carter Cup to finish following 2018 final

PUBLISHED: 16:04 24 April 2018 | UPDATED: 16:22 24 April 2018

Norwich wicketkeeper Jason Blake moves to catch the ball bowled by Dominic Mirner from Swardeston player Jordan Taylor's bat, during the 2016 Carter Cup final. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich wicketkeeper Jason Blake moves to catch the ball bowled by Dominic Mirner from Swardeston player Jordan Taylor's bat, during the 2016 Carter Cup final. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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The Bob Carter Cup will retire when it reaches its half century this summer, the competition’s committee has announced.

The Swardeston squad which won the 2016 Bob Carter Cup final, beating Norwich at Manor Park. Picture: Kevin DenmarkThe Swardeston squad which won the 2016 Bob Carter Cup final, beating Norwich at Manor Park. Picture: Kevin Denmark

The Carter Cup, as it is known locally, was the country’s longest running 60-over knockout competition and is embarking upon its 50th season.

To mark the anniversary year this season’s competition is being played in a 50-over format, with the final taking place at Manor Park on Bank Holiday Monday, August 27.

However, after a consultation to assess if the competition is keeping up with modern expectations for clubs and players it has been decided 2018 will be the Carter Cup’s final year.

“We have been delighted to support Norfolk cricket for the last 50 years through the Bob Carter Cup,” said Robert Carter, chairman of RG Carter Construction.

Carter Cup Final 2015 cricket action. Swardeston v Norwich. Winners - Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYCarter Cup Final 2015 cricket action. Swardeston v Norwich. Winners - Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“As a company we are strong supporters of the benefits of local communities and individuals being involved in sport, and since the first competition in the late 1960s our patronage has helped to create some fantastic moments in the lives of cricketers across the county.

“Having attended nearly every final over the last 50 years, I have seen first-hand the change in Sunday cricket in the county and therefore understand and agree with the decision the committee has taken. We are delighted to continue supporting Norfolk Cricket through an enhanced level of sponsorship for the county team.

“I would like to thank the many committee members whose commitment has made the competition possible since its inception in 1969 with a special tribute to the late Eric Bedwell and George Tipple. In particular, our thanks must go to John Betteridge who managed the competition and its success over a period spanning nearly 40 years.”

The Carter Cup was founded by the late Bob Carter and managed by Eric Bedwell of Cromer CC. The inaugural event took place in 1969 with 16 teams taking part and the final was played at Lakenham Cricket Ground, with Dereham beating Hunstanton.

The winners of the 2002 Carter Cup final, Vauxhall Mallards. Picture: Adrian JuddThe winners of the 2002 Carter Cup final, Vauxhall Mallards. Picture: Adrian Judd

Richard Wright, chairman of Norfolk CCCC, said: “Having been involved at the inception of the Bob Carter Cup, well and truly under the direction of Eric Bedwell, I have always had a great affection for the competition.

“Playing for an emerging club at the time it was an opportunity to pit ourselves against the county’s top sides-with varying degrees of success! After a first round exit in short order against Dereham, who went on to win it in the first year, the only way was up.

“In my conversations over the years with our minor counties opponents they, without fail, expressed their admiration for what the Bob Carter Cup brought to Norfolk cricket.

“The games were always great social occasions, especially the final. It will be sorely missed. With the changes in Sunday cricket in Norfolk, and the 50th final, the time is right and I look forward to continuing to work with RG Carter through their increased support of the county team.”

Vauxhall Mallards have enjoyed the most success in the competition with 10 victories, just ahead of reigning champions Swardeston, who beat Norwich in last season’s final.

Dereham and Cromer both have five final victories on their honours board, with Lowestoft on four and Norwich, Horsford and Ingham all on three.

Former EDP reporter Keith Skipper recalls: “I was a budding sports reporter on the local press when this competition started – and I watched it flourish into one of our area’s top summer attractions.

“Living next door to Lakenham cricket ground in those days, I had no excuse for being late to cover a final! It was also a pleasure to visit clubs all over the county at various stages of the competition.

“I’m sorry such a proud local success story is coming to a close, but there’ll be some consolation in a host of reflections on a golden era.”

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