Boost for Swardeston challenge

Swardeston are unlikely to come up against Essex all-rounder Ryan Ten Doeschate when they travel to Clacton tomorrow, aiming to move closer to their first EAPL title.

Swardeston are unlikely to come up against Essex all-rounder Ryan Ten Doeschate when they travel to Clacton tomorrow, aiming to move closer to their first EAPL title.

The Dutchman hit a century and took three wickets in Clacton's defeat at Norwich last week, but he is playing for Essex in the LV County Championship game against Gloucestershire at Southend, which is not due to finish until tomorrow.

Clacton are currently second from bottom - although that does not necessarily bode well for Swardeston, who have already lost to Fakenham and Horsford when they were bottom of the table this season.

Swardeston skipper Mark Thomas said: “I can't remember the last time we won at Clacton, it's not been a great ground for us, but we will go there with a bit of confidence this year.”

On his team's struggles against sides at the bottom, Thomas said: “For some reason, the league has been like that this year. No-one has been truly consistent and the teams at the bottom have been capable of beating those higher up. Fortunately though, Clacton are not bottom which might be a good omen!”

Swardeston are currently 36 points clear and if that was to stretch beyond 60 after tomorrow's results, the title would be theirs. More likely, however - and perhaps even more satisfying - would be the chance to win the league at home to reigning champions Bury St Edmunds next Saturday.

Most Read

Their closest rivals, Godmanchester, who lost ground with their defeat to Great Witchingham last Saturday, are at home to bottom side Fakenham, who are 15 points behind Clacton.

Vauxhall Mallards are at home to Cambridge Granta and skipper Paul Bradshaw has all but conceded Swardeston are out of reach for his team: “We are 51 points behind and we would do well to catch them now,” he said. “Maybe if we had managed to take the last wicket against Fakenham last week to win that one we would have a chance, but realistically we are now looking to finish as high as we can and we can still target second place.”

Norwich travel to Bury tomorrow, while the day's Norfolk derby sees Horsford host Great Witchingham.