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Everything to play for as EAPL season reaches penultimate weekend

PUBLISHED: 13:01 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 September 2018

Norfolk's Development team pose for a picture before their recent match against Cambridgeshire at Horsford which ended in a 39 run defeat. Back row (left to right); Charlie Rogers, John Ewart, Harry Windridge, Matt Bint, Oscar Binny, Cameron Graveling and Andrew Borrett (scorer). Front: jack Robertson, Tom Nudd, Chris Brown (coach), Will Rogers (captain), Nat Laws and Alfie Cooper Picture: TIM FERLEY

Norfolk's Development team pose for a picture before their recent match against Cambridgeshire at Horsford which ended in a 39 run defeat. Back row (left to right); Charlie Rogers, John Ewart, Harry Windridge, Matt Bint, Oscar Binny, Cameron Graveling and Andrew Borrett (scorer). Front: jack Robertson, Tom Nudd, Chris Brown (coach), Will Rogers (captain), Nat Laws and Alfie Cooper Picture: TIM FERLEY

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Title rivals Sudbury and Swardeston go into the penultimate weekend of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League season separated by just one point.

A thrilling end to the campaign has been set up over the previous two Saturdays, with Swardeston claiming two wins - including one against the side they are trying to catch – and Sudbury suffering back-to-back defeats.

The Suffolk side remain in the driving seat, however, having picked up enough bonus points at Mildenhall last week to keep their noses in front, and know they will seal a second successive title if they round off their campaign with two victories.

An added advantage is that both their games are at home, with Cambridge Granta visiting Friars Street on Saturday and bottom side Norwich providing the opposition seven days later.

Swardeston, who are currently on a run of six straight wins, can only make sure they win their final two games, at Vauxhall Mallards on Saturday and at home to Horsford the following weekend, and then hope for a favour.

An uncertain weather forecast adds an extra element to the drama, with showers forecast on Saturday, meaning bonus points will come into the equation if rain has the final say.

The battle to avoid finishing bottom and going into the end-of-season play-offs is also hotting up nicely, with Norwich getting back to winning ways last week to stay 12 points behind a resurgent Bury St Edmunds.

Ashley Watson’s side are at Frinton on Saturday, while Bury St Edmunds travel to a Burwell and Exning side who, along with Mallards and Cambridge Granta, aren’t quite safe yet.

In other matches Great Witchingham host Mildenhall and Horsford travel to Copdock.

The teams battling against relegation will also have half an eye on developments in the top flight of the Cambs & Hunts League, with the champions being potential opponents in a play-off final.

It’s a three-way fight between Saffron Walden, Sawston and Eaton Socon, with fellow contenders Foxton deciding against pursuing promotion. Sawston currently have a 21-point advantage over Saffron Walden, with two sides meeting on Saturday. Worlington have already qualified from the Two Counties League.

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