Swardeston make progress in national Twenty20 competition

Joe Gatting on his way to an unbeaten century for Swardeston at Manor Park on Saturday Picture: TIM

Joe Gatting on his way to an unbeaten century for Swardeston at Manor Park on Saturday Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Swardeston made up for a big disappointment in one national competition by making impressive progress in another.

Joe Gatting's side will be representing the East Anglian Premier League in the national stages of the ECB's Club Twenty20 competition after seeing off the challenge of Frinton in Cambridge.

The 40-run success at Clare College helped make for up missing out on a place in the last 16 of the 50-over competition when they were beaten at Brentwood after failing to make the most of an excellent start.

Swardeston were involved in a straight play-off with Frinton on Sunday after Cambridge Granta were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player in their line-up. The hosts had fallen foul of the rules by playing star batsman Michael Pepper, who should not have played in the competition after recently making his First Class debut for Essex.

After winning the toss and electing to bat first Swardeston made an impressive 218-5 in their 20 overs, with Jason Reynolds setting the tone by smashing 43 in 19 balls, with five fours and three sixes.

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Fellow opener Jordan Taylor top-scored with 46 while there were useful contributions from Stephen Gray (37), Peter Lambert (33 not out) and Lewis Denmark (26 not out) as Gatting's men posted a formidable target.

The innings of the day came from Frinton's Miguel Machado, who made an unbeaten 100 in 56 balls, but he was fighting a lone battle as his side were dismissed for 178 off the penultimate ball of the innings.

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Tom Oxley took the bowling honours with excellent figures of 3-16 from 3.5 overs.

Swardeston will now host Essex outfit Hornchurch in the area final on Sunday, July 29.

The Royal London Cup match at Brentwood a week earlier was something of a missed opportunity for a side that has regularly challenged at the latter stages of the competition.

After losing three early wickets the hosts stumbled to 129-8 before an unbeaten 58 from No 8 Ben Allison helped them up to 186-8 in their 40 overs. Swardeston also lost wickets early in reply and despite Peter Lambert (46), Gatting (32) and Callum Taylor (30) all getting started the visitors were dismissed for 151.

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