Swardeston face hectic spell as they chase glory on four fronts
- Credit: Archant
Swardeston have a busy weekend of cricket ahead of them - and there could be two more coming up later this month if they keep on winning.
Joe Gatting's side make the short trip to Great Witchingham in the Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League on Saturday before hosting a re-arranged Area Final of the Vitality National Club Twenty20 tournament the following day.
If they come through that they will have the quarter-finals to look forward to on August 18 - and before that, on August 11, they travel to Bexley in Kent for a last eight tie in the 40 over Royal London Club Championship, which reaches its climax at Lord's next month.
With the final of the NW Brown Norfolk Twenty20 competition against Horsford coming up next Friday evening it's a hectic spell for Swardeston, and as ever it will be a case of taking one game at a time as they chase glory on four fronts.
First up is a trip to Walcis Park on Saturday, with Swardeston knowing a derby win could take them top, with leaders Frinton hosting fellow title contenders and defending champions Sudbury.
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Frinton currently lead their Norfolk rivals by 16 points, with Sudbury another 10 points adrift.
On Sunday Swardeston will have home advantage as they attempt to take a step closer to another Finals Day appearance in the national Twenty20 competition.
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The four-team Area Final was due to have been staged at the neutral venue of Bury St Edmunds last weekend but never got going because of rain.
Swardeston face Stanmore in the semi-finals at The Common (11.30am), with Wanstead taking on Radlett at nearby Hilltops at the same time. The two winners will then meet in the final at The Common at 3.30pm.
Back in the EAPL, Saturday sees another derby and it will be a poignant one as Vauxhall Mallards entertain Horsford. The match will be the final all-Norfolk encounter at this level to be staged at Halvergate, with Mallards disbanding at the end of the season because of a shortage of players.
Brooke's Under-13 side reached the last eight of the ECB's Vitality Cup before bowing out of the national competition with their heads held high.
The youngsters travelled to Lullington Park near Derby for the Midlands semi-finals, having seen off Horsford at the county stage and Bedford at the regional stage.
First up was a match against Wellington from Shropshire, with Brooke scoring 115-5 (Harry Ford 30 retired, Thomas Robson 15, Ed Cross 14) and then bowling the opposition out for just 42 (Will Panter 4-12, Harry Grove 3-0, Sam Reynolds 2-2, Adam Robson 1-16).
Brooke then played Hinckley Town for a place in the national finals at Rugby School. Despite some excellent bowling from Panter (0-16) and Robson (2-12) early on Hinckley managed to score 111-5 in their 20 overs (Reynolds 1-17, Grove 1-13). Against a strong bowling attack the Brooke players could not keep up with the run rate, eventually being bowled out for 71.
An explosive unbroken second wicket partnership of 132 between Sam Clabburn and Will Rogers guided Norfolk Lions to an impressive win over Suffolk Seconds at Manor Park on Wednesday.
Clabburn made an unbeaten 78 in just 49 balls, with 12 fours and three sixes, and Rogers 46 in 38 as the hosts won the East of England Development competition at a canter after bowling Suffolk out for just 137.
Billy Panter led a solid bowling effort with figures of 3-28 while Will Means took 2-28.
The match was a warm-up game for the annual Festival of Cricket, which gets under way on Sunday when Norfolk take on Lincolnshire in the Minor Counties Championship.
Meanwhile Norfolk Under-17s beat Hertfordshire and the weather to record an excellent five wicket win in their latest County Championship Division 3B match at Bishop's Stortford.
In what was effectively a one innings match following a couple of declarations, Norfolk passed their target of 270 in the 51st over for the loss of five wickets. Nat Laws and Jack Gibson both made 69, the latter not out, while Harry Nunn (38), George Harrad (35) and Buzz Kemp (19 not out) also made useful contributions.