Swardeston looking to raise the stakes again in defence of their crown

Action from Swardeston's win over Sudbury at the weekend. Picture: Nick Butcher

Action from Swardeston's win over Sudbury at the weekend. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Swardeston will attempt to crank up the pressure on Sudbury again this weekend as the race for EAPL honours hots up.

The gap between the top two is now down to 10 points following Swardeston's two-wicket defeat of the leaders last weekend.

Both teams face challenges from the bottom half of the table on Saturday – Sudbury travel to Burwell, while Swardeston will be looking to inflict some pain on local rivals Horsford at Manor Park.

The formbook suggests both can emerge in credit, but with such small margins involved, there is little room for error.

Swardeston's victory was in large part down to a 163 second-wicket partnership between Jason Reynolds and Callum Taylor.

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The defending champions will be determined not to let their crown go without a major scrap, but Sudbury skipper Darren Batch, who scored an unbeaten 122 in his team's defeat, is in no mood to relinquish top spot.

'If someone had said, before the start of the season, that we would win nine of our first 11 matches and be top by 10 points, then we would have been very pleased,' he said.

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'And if we can match that record in the second half of the season, then we will win the league.'

Horsford have won just three of their 11 outings and were on the receiving end in a derby last week, going down by four wickets at home to Great Witchingham. Sudbury's opponents Burwell are just a point ahead of Horsford, with eight defeats and three wins.

Great Witchingham are back on home turf this weekend, facing Bury St Edmunds, who are rock bottom of the league with just one victory to their name: they went down by nine wickets away to Cambridge Granta last weekend and have almost been cut adrift.

Second from bottom are Norwich, who entertain fifth-placed Frinton-on-Sea. The city side will be desperate to climb the table – just two points separates them from Burwell, who are two places above them.

Vauxhall Mallards picked up their second win of the campaign last weekend – beating Frinton – and will be looking to follow that up when they entertain mid-table Mildenhall. In the remaining game in the league this weekend, Cambridge Granta play Copdock & Old Ipswichian.

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