Swardeston to chase another national title at Vitality Club T20 finals day
- Credit: Archant
Swardeston represent Norfolk on the national stage again tomorrow when they go in search of a third national Twenty20 title.
This villagers have reached the Vitality Club T20 finals day for the second time in three years, having also won the competition in 2010.
Joe Gatting's team take on Nantwich of the Cheshire County League – appearing at their inaugural finals day – in the day's first semi-final (11.15am) at the 3aaa County Ground in Derbyshire.
Captained by Ray Doyle, who led from the front with a pair of 30s in area and quarter-final wins over Flixton and Ormskirk respectively, Nantwich's youthful mix face the East Anglian Premier League title hopefuls.
For Gatting, the joys of this year's journey have been discovering the depth of the side's talents, and the growing feel-good factor that has produced strong team performances.
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'We've been fortunate,' he says – noting Jordan Taylor's 59 in a 32-run quarter-final victory over Slough as a case in point. 'Each time someone's stood up and won the game – and the most exciting thing about the competition is that team bonding and excitement and travelling for each round.'
Swardeston's experience may make them favourites, but Doyle – backed by Nantwich's travelling army – is up for the fight. 'If we play the cricket we have along the way, we'll give anyone a game,' he says.
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In the second semi-final, newcomers Hanging Heaton of the Bradford Premier League, pit their wits against Sussex Premier League winners Roffey. The Yorkshiremen disposed of holders South Northumberland in a tense north area final finish before seeing off Bracebridge Heath in the quarters.
At one point Roffey were chasing four trophies – including a potential first for the club game with the double of T20 and the 40-over Royal London National Club Championship trophy, although that dream has since been brought to an end.
Sky Sports will be filming the action throughout the day for a highlights show, which will be broadcast at a later date.