Swardeston need to keep in winning to stand chance of winning EAPL title

Joe Gatting (right) and Stephen Gray are both likely to be key men for Swardeston at the weekend Pic

Joe Gatting (right) and Stephen Gray are both likely to be key men for Swardeston at the weekend Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Archant

Swardeston know they will need to keep up their good work if they are to catch long-time East Anglian Premier League leaders Sudbury.

Joe Gatting's side got themselves right back into the title picture at Friars Street last weekend when they beat the defending champions by 57 runs to close the gap at the top to just 21 points.

But with just three rounds of matches to be played there is absolutely no room for error for the challengers, who need to extend their winning run from five to eight to stand a realistic chance of being crowned champions.

Swardeston play host to Great Witchingham on Saturday and then travel to Halvergate to take on Vauxhall Mallards before concluding their campaign at home to Horsford on September 15.

Sudbury have a tricky looking fixture at third-placed Mildenhall at the weekend but then have the advantage of playing their final two matches at home, against first Cambridge Granta and then relegation threatened Norwich.

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With their current lead Sudbury won't be overhauled this weekend unless they have a complete disaster at Wamil Way but should they lose and Swardeston win the pressure really would be on and it would set up an thrilling end to the season.

At the other end of the table Norwich take on Burwell and Exning at Postwick looking up at rest of the league after losing at Copdock last weekend while Bury St Edmunds were recording a fourth straight win against Horsford.

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Having looked safe not so long ago, an out-of-from Norwich side are now 12 points behind their Suffolk rivals, who will be expecting to beat visitors Copdock on Saturday.

Ashley Watson's side desperately need a win themselves to keep hopes of avoiding finishing bottom alive - although even if the worst did happen they would still have the play-offs to fall back on.

In a new move this season the side that finishes bottom in the EAPL will be involved in a four-way battle for a place in the league in 2019 with representatives from the Norfolk Alliance, the Cambs and Hunts Premier League and the Two Counties League. Alliance champions Fakenham will visit the EAPL side in the semi-finals.

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