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EAPL preview: Swardeston and Great Witchingham set sights on defending champions

Norwich's Ashley Watson is bowled by Nicholas Smit during his team's 137-run home win over Vauxhall Mallards last weekend Picture: Tim Ferley

Norwich's Ashley Watson is bowled by Nicholas Smit during his team's 137-run home win over Vauxhall Mallards last weekend Picture: Tim Ferley

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Swardeston’s attempts to rekindle a title chase continue with a Norfolk derby when they host Norwich tomorrow.

Joe Gatting’s team moved back up to second place in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League table with a 93-run victory away to Cambridge Granta, featuring a huge 116 from Stephen Gray.

The gap to reigning champions and leaders Sudbury is 47 points with nine games remaining, leaving time for the club which won the EAPL title in five consecutive seasons between 2012 and 2016 to reclaim their crown.

They will welcome a Norwich team buoyed by a return to form though, bringing an end to a four games without a win when they beat Vauxhall Mallards by 137 runs, with opener Jack Newby smashing an unbeaten 156.

It was a close affair when the teams met back in May, when Norwich were bowled out for 136 at Ingham and saw the visitors reach their total with just two wickets remaining.

Great Witchingham are only three points behind Swardeston in third place though and continued their good form with a comfortable eight-wicket victory at lowly Bury St Edmunds.

The Witches have won five of their last six league matches and will look to continue that upturn in fortunes when mid-table Copdock and Old Ipswichian arrive at Walcis Park.

Ninth-placed Mallards will try to bounce back from their defeat at Norwich when they host struggling Bury, who have won just one of their 13 games so far this season and are 60 points adrift of Norwich at the foot of the table.

Horsford are eighth but slipped to a third consecutive loss when they were beaten by six wickets at Mildenhall last time out. Ryan Findlay’s team welcome fourth-placed Frinton-on-Sea to Manor Park.

• Downham Town’s charge for the Cecil Amey Opticians Norfolk Alliance Premier Division looks to be back on track.

The leaders bounced back from defeat at Fakenham with a six-wicket home win over Old Buckenham to maintain a 50-point lead ahead of today’s trip to bottom-of-the-table Acle.

Second-placed Fakenham head to Garboldisham looking for a sixth successive victory to keep the pressure on.


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