Swardeston told to value their wickets

Swardeston have challenged their batsmen to step up to the plate as they look to wrestle the title back from Vauxhall Mallards. Mark Thomas' side had established a stranglehold on the EAPL, winning back to back titles before old rivals Mallards broke the run last year.

Swardeston have challenged their batsmen to step up to the plate as they look to wrestle the title back from Vauxhall Mallards.

Mark Thomas' side had established a stranglehold on the EAPL, winning back to back titles before old rivals Mallards broke the run last year.

And vice-captain George Walker, pictured, believes the run-makers hold the key to regaining the trophy: "We were pipped to second place by Norwich as well, but we did not deserve to finish any higher than third," said Walker. "It was disappointing, but then if we finished third playing badly it shows what we can achieve.

"I don't think many teams won against us last year because we bowled badly, it was just a case of a lack of runs or we couldn't chase the target we'd been set. Definitely some of us, myself included, need to value our wickets more - we had too many people getting caught playing big shots last season, so maybe we need to change our style a little."


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With Richard Sims unavailable for the first half of the summer because of his teaching commitments at Norwich School, Loyala Herathge is likely to step back into the first team, while it is hoped Peter Lambert will be able to return regularly from university to play. Walker admitted the loss of Sims was a blow, but believes he could play a big part in the latter stages of the campaign: "We don't want to be in a no-hope situation when he comes back, we want to be challenging," he said. "You've seen it with Norwich in recent years, when they get people back from university they have a strong second half of the season."

Pace bowler Bud Bailey, released by Northamptonshire at the end of last summer, is not expected to play for Swardeston this summer, although batsman Rob Newton, who made his Northants debut last year, may feature occasionally. Walker himself is not planning to pursue a career in the first class game, despite his stunning form last season - he was the league's leading wicket-taker with 57 victims - which led to three County Championship appearances for Leicestershire.

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