Swanton Morley go back to the future

Swanton Morley chairman George Northall insists the club still have a bright future despite facing the prospect of withdrawing their second team from league action.

The club were unable to raise a side for their second XI fixture in West Norfolk League Division Four last weekend and face the same scenario tomorrow. Under the league's 'three strikes' rule a further withdrawal next weekend would see them drop out of the competition for the remainder of the season.

Northall said that the club had lost several players because of work commitments at the start of the season and further departures since then had left them unable to fill two sides.

'What you have to remember is that it was only two years ago that we started putting two teams out on a Saturday because we had youngsters not getting a game,' he said. 'So really we are just stepping back a couple of years and I'm quite happy about the way things are going forward.

'I'm quite certain that next year we will be able to put two teams out on a Saturday again.'

Recent developments have cast a shadow over what should have been an exciting year for the club, with the completion of their new �184,000 pavilion. Northall added: 'It is a bit disappointing, but I am conscious of the fact that the facilities we have got now at the club will enable us to move forward. The rest of the club is going well, particularly the youth cricket where we have 50 members.

'We wish the guys who have left well, but the ones who are left are quite happy to carry on and four players have even said they will come back to the club next year. So really it's a case of soldiering on until the end of the season, but obviously it has put a bit of a dampener on things.'

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Nathan Raines has taken on the captaincy for the rest of the season, with Nick Richer as vice-captain.

Tomorrow, Swanton Morley will put out a side in Division One to face bottom of the table The Creakes, who themselves have withdrawn from two fixtures this season. Victory would see Swanton Morley secure their place in Division One next year.

The feeder leagues have already suffered a string of withdrawals this season, with reigning West Norfolk League champions Grimston pulling out, along with Heacham A in Division Five. The Norfolk League has seen the demise of Watton and Shipdham A.

n Swanton Morley are hosting the first of Breckland Council's summer cricket camps on Monday, August 15.

The event runs from 10am to 3pm and is for girls and boys aged eight to 14. Qualified cricket coaches will run the event, which costs �5 per child. To book, or for further information, email georgenorthall@yahoo.co.uk

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