Swardeston hope to keep battling on all fronts

Swardeston captain Mark Thomas won't be complaining about potential burn-out if his team continues their multi-pronged search for honours.

It's early days yet, but the big games are already coming thick and fast. Tomorrow the EAPL champions bid to maintain their unbeaten start to the defence of their title when they visit third-placed Saffron Walden.

And Sunday's 107-runs crushing of Cambridge Granta earned them a last-32 visit to Peterborough Town in the ECB Club Championship on Sunday, June 23.

The winners of that tie will have an apparently clear run to the semi-finals with successive home ties – offering tantalising hopes of another slice of national glory to match the club's Twenty20 triumph at the Rose Bowl in 2010.

'The ECB are obviously putting a lot of emphasis on the national competitions,' said Thomas. 'The final of this one is at Durham and the T20 is at the Oval, both Test grounds and we'd love to get to either final. We've tasted national success once and we'd love to do it again in either competition.

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'We want success in all competitions. It could start to cause us some problems on Sundays later in the summer but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. We all play for fun but it is a lot more fun when you're winning.'

Stephen Gray (112 off 110 balls) and Richard Sims (104 not out off 88) both scored magnificent centuries as Swardeston scored 281-4 off their 45 overs before dismissing Granta for 174 in 31.2 overs

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'It wasn't quite as straight forward as it looked,' said Thomas. 'They took the gamble of packing their side full of batting and it backfired when they lost their opening bowler (captain Sean Park) early on. Stephen Gray and Richard Sims both batted superbly to take us to 281 – and even with all their batting that was a big ask.'

Ominously for their EAPL rivals Thomas added: 'Last year we had a very young team. Arguably we won the league a couple of years before I thought we would. But the great thing is everyone has got better this year.'

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