EAPL bread and butter comes first for Royal London ECB National Club Championship hopefuls Swardeston

George Walker in action for his beloved Swardeston. Picture: STEVE ADAMS

George Walker in action for his beloved Swardeston. Picture: STEVE ADAMS

Swardeston will aim to use an East Anglian Premier League springboard to propel them towards national glory.

The EAPL's dominant force of recent years visit Bury St Edmunds tomorrow as they look to maintain control of a fifth successive defence of their prized crown.

A very different challenge will await the league leaders less than 24 hours later however when they travel to High Wycombe in the Royal London ECB National Club Championship quarter-finals.

A victory on Sunday would take Swardeston to the last four for the first time since 2013. But vice-captain George Walker is confident that opportunity will not get in the way of completing this weekend's first job successfully.

The 32-year-old said: 'We won't be thinking about High Wycombe, we'll be thinking about Bury St Edmunds. It'll be a long old day, because Saturday matches are, and we'll need to focus on that before we can even begin to think about Sunday.

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'We want to win the league again and by as many points as we can. Bury are a dangerous side. I know it might not look like that because of the position they're in but they're a good side.

'Callum Taylor, our former team-mate and Jordy's (Jordan) brother, might be playing against us and we know all about him. He's a good bowler and a very good batsman.

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'So it's important we play well and try and pick up another win. The best way to take momentum into Sunday is by beating Bury. A good win on Saturday, with batsmen scoring runs and bowlers taking wickets, will help us take an even more no-fear attitude into the match.

'It'll provide that little bit extra confidence, allow us to start on the front foot and help us take the handbrake off.'

Walker and his team-mates go into the crunch period with an extra spring in their step after opening up a 42-point cushion at the top of the standings.

They turned in a formidable display to beat Norfolk rivals Vauxhall Mallards by 154 runs while Cambridge Granta, second, were suffering a shock defeat at another of Swardeston's near neighbours, Great Witchingham.

Wycombe sit fourth in Home Counties Premier League Division One yet that means little to a man who his enjoying his 17th year at The Common.

Walker added: 'We don't know what the league is like. We've had a look at their website to see who has scored their runs and taken their wickets but that's been done more out of interest than anything else.

'James Benning has played for Surrey, Leicestershire and at Minor Counties level so he's obviously a very handy all-rounder. Garth Davson has been playing for Essex seconds.

'But that's about all we know. And the beauty of it is it's just the same for them as it is us.'

Elsewhere in the EAPL tomorrow, Norwich visit Burwell, Witchingham take on basement boys Horsford in a key derby at the bottom while Mallards host Sudbury.

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