Swardeston aiming to move to within one win of day out at Lord’s
- Credit: Archant
Swardeston will be aiming to take another step towards a dream day out at the home of cricket on Sunday.
Joe Gatting's side travel to Kent to take on Bexley in the quarter-finals of the Royal London Club Championship knowing success would leave them just one win away from a place in the final at Lord's on September 15.
The other last eight ties are Nantwich v Bath, Richmondshire v Ormskirk and Weybridge v Havant.
An in-form Swardeston side will be aiming to maintain their impressive form in national competitions, having reached the quarter-finals of the Vitality Club Twenty20 Championship last Sunday.
Gatting's men had home advantage in the rearranged Area Finals and made full use of it, recording two comprehensive victories to book a trip to Berkswell in the Midlands on August 18.
They saw off Stanmore by 39 runs in the semi-finals after making a solid 157-8 in their 20 overs and then completely outplayed Radlett in the final, bowling them out for just 49 after making 156-9.
A feature of the day was a superb bowling performance from Callum Taylor who recorded combined figures of 6-1-25-6 over the two games. Stephen Gray (50), Peter Lambert (48 not out) and Freddie Ruffell (41) were the highest scorers.
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Swardeston are also in the thick of the Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League title race - and have a chance to go top on Saturday.
They face basement club Vauxhall Mallards for the final time at The Common and will be strong favourites to extend their long unbeaten run. Just five points separate the top three, with rivals Frinton and Sudbury facing tricky away games at Saffron Walden and Copdock respectively.
Fourth placed Horsford host Burwell and Exning while Great Witchingham visit Bury St Edmunds.
Norfolk youth update
Norfolk U12s finished runners-up in the Minor Counties Festival at the Royal Hospital School near Ipswich.
The first match against Lincolnshire saw Norfolk win by 91 runs (Sam Kassulke 51 not out, Lewis Reeder 3-4, Johnny Shaw 2-5).
Next up was a 112 run win over Cleveland, with Thomas Robson scoring an excellent century and Reeder taking 2-5, Sam Reynolds 2-5 and Sushant Singh 2-4. Norfolk then held out for an exciting draw against the Netherlands with nine wickets down (Shaw 3-35, Kassulke 2-32, Singh 2-45, Amos Coates 2-24, Kassulke 50). The fourth match produced a three wicket win over Cumbria with Reynolds taking 3-17 and Reeder 2-18 while on the final day Norfolk beat Oxfordshire by 172 runs. Two half centuries from tournament top scorer Kassulke (80) and Reeder (69) were followed by Reynolds taking 4-12 and Shaw 2-9.
Norfolk travelled to Exning to play Suffolk and restricted their hosts to 139-7 with wickets for Shaw (2-16), Reeder (2-18), Reynolds (1-25) and Coates (1-12). In reply Norfolk were in trouble at 55-6 before a seventh wicket partnership of 53 between Reynolds (27) and captain Reeder (48) set up a win with four balls to spare.
Norfolk U15s completed their perfect league campaign with an emphatic win over Cambridgeshire at sun drenched Stow.
The quality and depth of ability in the county's youth system was illustrated as a side boasting two U14 and one U13 player following regional call-ups for Ben Wilcox and Ben Panter comprehensively beat a decent side.
Norfolk made 202 (Harry Nunn 67, Joe Wicks 50) and then bowled out Cambridgeshire for 155 (Harry De-Coteau Spring 9.5-1-23-2; Charlie Barber 8-0-21-2, Jack Whitlam 6-0-23-2)
Top scorer Nunn was named The One Broker Norfolk man of the match.
Norfolk 0-60s' game at Shropshire was cancelled due to rain but the seconds did see some action against Cambridgeshire at Clare College.
On a difficult pitch Norfolk struggled to put runs on the board and it was only when Brynley Clarke (63 not out) and Robin Konieczny (40 not out) put on 82 for the third wicket that a solid total of 145-2 off 40 overs was reached. Cambridge reached their target in the 38th over for the loss of three wickets.
The 070' entertained Essex and were all out for 94. Essex never found it easy but reached their target in 35 overs for the loss of five wickets.
Norfolk Twenty20 final
The annual NW Brown Norfolk Twenty20 competition reaches its climax at Manor Park this Friday evening, with holders Swardeston taking on hosts Horsford in the final.
Admission is £2, with under-16s free, and spectators will get a numbered programme that is entered into a raffle drawn between innings.
Gates will open around 5pm and the game will start at 5.30pm. Barbeque and bar facilities will be available.
This year's competition marks the 10th anniversary of sponsorship from financial advisors NW Brown.