Big two set for final battle
Predictable as it may have been, Sunday's Carter Cup final between Swardeston and Vauxhall Mallards remains a mouthwatering prospect.It is the third consecutive year that the two clubs have battled it out for the trophy and you have to go back to 2000 for the last time one of the 'big two' was not in the final.
Predictable as it may have been, Sunday's Carter Cup final between Swardeston and Vauxhall Mallards remains a mouthwatering prospect.
It is the third consecutive year that the two clubs have battled it out for the trophy and you have to go back to 2000 for the last time one of the 'big two' was not in the final.
But they remain the major forces in Norfolk cricket and any clash between them is likely to be a hard fought and entertaining affair.
Swardeston have revenge in mind after last year's final was postponed twice before Mallards won a 20-overs a side match amid wet conditions.
Mark Thomas, Swardeston captain, said: “It was a bit frustrating last year and it would be nice to have some decent weather this time. Towards the end last year it was a little bit farcical because the wicket was almost under water and if you are going to lose a game, you'd rather lose on a dry, sunny day.”
His side remain on course to complete a unique quartet of silverware, as they are top of the East Anglian Premier League, have already won the Norfolk 20/20 Cup, and have a Biss Trophy final against Mallards to come after Sunday's showdown.
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Thomas insisted that the chase for the quadruple was not a burden, adding: “We've talked about it, but our focus is always on the next game. If we win in the league tomorrow it would put us a long way towards winning the title and then we can look forward to two one-off games against Mallards.
“We've got one trophy under our belt, although I still think the league is the main focus for us.”
Mallards skipper Paul Bradshaw said his team were looking forward to facing their old adversaries, despite losing both league encounters against Swardeston this year: “I think most of my Carter Cup finals have been against Swardeston and it is a tribute to both sides' consistency that we are in the final again,” he said.
He admitted that some of the gloss was taken off last year's victory, adding: “The Carter Cup is the only 60 over competition I know of that is still going and there is something a bit different about the format, so it would be nice to get a full day this year.
“Last season we were finished by about 2pm and it had a different feel to it, although having said that we played some very good cricket to win the game.”
He insisted that halting Swardeston's quest for glory on four fronts was not an extra incentive for Mallards, adding: “It wouldn't matter if they were only in one final, we would want to beat them. We have two finals against them and we want to win as many trophies as we can.”
Play starts at Manor Park, Horsford at 10.45am and entrance is free.