Swardeston seek boost in title race

Swardeston could take a significant step towards the East Anglian Premier League title this weekend as they travel to bottom side Halstead.

The Essex side are 107 points adrift at the bottom and appear doomed to relegation. They have lost all 12 of their completed fixtures this season and Swardeston will be heavy favourites to inflict further punishment tomorrow.

With second-placed Vauxhall Mallards at home to a resurgent Great Witchingham side, who have won three of their last four games, Swardeston will be hoping to build on the 11-point advantage they hold over their Norfolk rivals.

Horsford, still in contention in fourth place, welcome back skipper Chris Brown and Essex batsman Jaik Mickleburgh for the visit of Clacton. The Manor Park side came close to victory over Swardeston last weekend, before late batting resistance from the leaders earned a crucial draw.

In the Norfolk Alliance Premier Division, leaders Norwich host Lowestoft and title rivals Fakenham are at relegation-threatened Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers. Acle's immediate return to Division One could be confirmed as they face third from bottom Stow.


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The Division One title is likely to be decided next weekend when leaders Cromer face third-placed Horsford A. But the two relegation places will be confirmed tomorrow, with Topcroft, Dereham, Bradenham and Norwich A battling to avoid the drop.

Beccles still need 11 points at Swardeston B tomorrow to confirm the only promotion spot in Division Two. Sides at the bottom can breathe easily as Hales & Loddon have already been relegated.

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In Division Three, Great Witchingham A face Swaffham tomorrow and Old Buckenham A on Bank Holiday Monday as they make up their game in hand on leaders Garboldisham in the race to secure the one promotion spot.

With Bungay already crowned Division Four champions, it is down to Thetford and Great Melton A to fight for the one remaining promotion place. Cromer A are down, while Ashmanhaugh & Barton Wanderers need to beat Bungay tomorrow to have any chance of staying up.

Garboldisham A and Stow A have the two Division Five promotion places in the bag, but the title may not be decided until next weekend, when Stow play their game in hand. Aldborough and Bradenham A are relegated.

Thetford A need 17 points at Lowestoft A tomorrow to be sure of clinching the Division Six title ahead of fellow promoted side Bradfield A, who are at Beccles A. There will be no relegation from the Alliance as no teams will be promoted from the feeder leagues.

As a result of the recent improved weather, Alliance clubs must now revert to rule 10 in the league handbook when cancelling a fixture.

n See tomorrow's EDP for a full list of the weekend's fixtures.

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