Brooke rewrite their history books by reaching last four of the Carter Cup
- Credit: Archant
Brooke's growing status as a force to be reckoned with was further enhanced by another history-making achievement.
Not content with climbing atop the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division table for the first time in the club's history 24 hours earlier, the villagers won at Diss in the last eight of the Carter Cup on Sunday to seal a maiden semi-final appearance.
The seven-wicket victory at their same-league rivals caps a dream start to the campaign for a team who were only promoted last season, having finished runners-up to Stow.
The hosts – looking to build on their own excellent Saturday which had seen them become the first club to defeat morning leaders Fakenham – were dismissed for 222 with Tom Nudd (3-36) and the visitors' player-coach Mike Jones (3-45) making the biggest inroads with the ball.
Rob Panter's 68 set Brooke on the road to victory and the in-form Jones (69 not out) and Ed Sturman (35no) eventually got their troops over the line for the loss of just three wickets.
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Joining them in the last four are the area's dominant force of recent years, Swardeston. The East Anglian Premier League leaders, however, must surely be keen to end a six-year wait to clinch the prestigious 60-over competition's trophy.
The current EAPL title-holders, who have lifted the elite's crown three years in a row, lost last year's final to Horsford and must fancy their chances this time round given that not only are they in typically fine form, but the side that defeated them in the 2014 showcase have already been eliminated.
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Lower-level Cromer's task was never going to be an easy one and their cause was hardly helped by the away team winning the toss and electing to bat.
That call handsomely paid off with all of Swardeston's 11 batsmen scoring double figures during their team's huge total of 341-9.
Richard Sims top-scored with 75 as – despite the best efforts of Michael Warnes (3-74) who dismissed him – the bowlers struggled to keep their side in it. The daunting total never looked like being passed, especially once the first three Cromer batsmen failed to get out of single figures.
Damien Sweet's 40 offered some hope but his knock was ended by George Walker (3-60) and, despite some late resistance, the hosts fell a huge 184 runs short. Michael Eccles was the away club's star turn taking 4-41 during what, according to pleasant Twitter exchanges between the teams and players, was a friendly encounter on the coast.
There was also no upset over at Downham Town as they, like Cromer, failed to upstage an illustrious EAPL opponent. Fresh off the back of a derby win at Great Witchingham, Vauxhall Mallards' Brett Stolworthy hit 101 to put the Ducks in control. Their 300-8 was never threatened as the Alliance Premier holders were sent packing having made 162.
Finally, second-from-bottom Norwich lifted some of their early-season EAPL gloom by putting themselves one victory away from the final. Aaron Watson (4-19) and Sam Pointer (115no) shone as their troops clinched a five-wicket triumph at lower tier Old Buckenham.