Big two poised for crucial showdown

The title will not be won or lost this weekend – but the result of tomorrow's top two clash between Vauxhall Mallards and Swardeston is likely to be hugely significant.

Swardeston currently hold a 23-point advantage over their long-standing rivals despite last weekend's home defeat against Horsford. Mallards were unable to capitalise on that slip as they could only draw at Great Witchingham.

Swardeston vice-captain George Walker, who is the league's leading wicket-taker with 43 victims this year, said: 'It is a massive game. They tend to have the edge on us when we play at their place, so we need to step up and perform a lot better than we did against Horsford when we got stuffed really.

'It's a crucial game for both sides and it could go a long way to deciding the title. Probably more so if we win, because we have a bit of a lead already. If they win, it makes it a bit more even stevens going into the last five games.'

In fact, Swardeston's league record at Brundall is not as bad as Walker suggested, as they have won two of the last four encounters, sandwiching a draw in 2008, with Mallards winning at their home ground last year.

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The reverse fixture between the two sides at The Common ended in a draw, although Mallards convincingly beat Swardeston in the Carter Cup semi-finals at Brundall last month.

Third-placed Great Witchingham travel to Cambridge Granta, who are enjoying a strong second half to the campaign as they make a belated bid to defend their title.

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Horsford finally shook the tag of not winning away from home last weekend, but they are back at Manor Park tomorrow to face Burwell.

Bottom-of-the-table Norwich will again include New Zealand Test opener Tim McIntosh for the visit of Sudbury to Postwick.

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