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Swardeston boosted by early succcess in Royal London Club Championship

PUBLISHED: 08:25 03 May 2019

Dereham captain Duncan Hewitt is looking forward to a new campaign in the top flight of Norfolk Alliance cricket Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Dereham captain Duncan Hewitt is looking forward to a new campaign in the top flight of Norfolk Alliance cricket Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

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Swardeston will go into Saturday's home match against Mildenhall in the East Anglian Premier League in good heart after picking up two impressive wins at the weekend.

Joe Gatting's side followed up a six wicket success at Bury St Edmunds in the EAPL by seeing off Fakenham by 65 runs in the first round of the national Royal London Club Championship.

Swardeston made 239-7 in their 40 overs, with Lewis Denmark providing the late impetus by scoring an unbeaten 65 in 41 balls. Callum Taylor (50) and Alex Levinson (43) also made useful contributions while Luke Caswell was the pick of the Fakenham bowlers with figures of 2-27.

In reply last season's Norfolk Alliance Premier Division champions were dismissed for 174 as Gatting and Jordan Taylor both took three wickets.

Swardeston will host Lincolnshire side Bourne in the second round on Sunday, May 12.

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Horsford welcome Cambridge in the EAPL tomorrow while Vauxhall Mallards and Great Witchingham hit the road in their search for a first win of the campaign. Mallards face a daunting challenge against defending champions Sudbury, who have won both their games so far, while the Witches are at newly promoted Saffron Walden.

The Norfolk Alliance season gets fully up and running on Saturday after a couple of games last weekend.

Norwich's first outing since their relegation from the EAPL is at Brooke. They will be captained this season by the vastly experienced Chris Borrett following Norfolk skipper Ashley Watson's switch to Frinton in the close season.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division Fakenham travel to Diss, Cromer host 2018 runners-up Downham Town and Garboldisham, who now have former Norfolk opener James Spelman in their ranks, entertain Stow.

It will also be a big day for Dereham, who play their first top flight match for around three decades when they host North Runcton.

“The players are looking forward to the step up and can't wait to get started,” said skipper Duncan Hewitt. “We have worked incredibly hard over the past three years to reach this point and we're keen to show what we're capable of at a higher level.”

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