Swardeston will be hard to catch says Horsford skipper

Jaik Mickleburgh scored a superb century for Horsford against Cambridge Granta at Manor Park. PHOTO

Jaik Mickleburgh scored a superb century for Horsford against Cambridge Granta at Manor Park. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Horsford captain Chris Brown has conceded that EAPL champions Swardeston have stolen a march on all of their title rivals by opening a 30-point gap at the top of the table.

While Horsford and Cambridge Granta fought out a draw at the weekend, Swardeston romped to their sixth win in eight starts – by a seven-wicket margin at third-placed Saffron Walden.

And although the campaign still has almost two-thirds of its course to run, Brown believes the table does not lie.

'Swardeston have played really good cricket this year and they're going to take some catching,' he said. 'They outplayed us totally when we played them last month and they are the only team to have done that. They do look the strongest side from those we've come up against so far.'

He added, however: 'We've done OK. We're currently sitting fourth and there's still a long way to go with a lot of matches to left.

'I've been really pleased with the way things are going at Horsford and I think if someone had offered me fourth at this stage in the season I think I'd have taken that. We've just got to keep concentrating on our game and see how we go.'

Horsford's hopes of improving on last season's third place may be influenced by how often they are able to call on the services of Jaik Mickleburgh.

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The young Essex star, whoaveraged 42.44 in ten EAPL appearances last summer, scored a masterful 146 in his first appearance for Horsford this season against Granta. But he'll be back in First Class action in a championship match against Lancashire this weekend.

'He's going to keep me posted but I'm sure we'll see him in Horsford colours again this season,' said Brown, whose team go to Copdock tomorrow. 'He enjoys playing at Horsford.All the lads get on with him, he's been here since he was 15 or 16 and he still keeps in touch with everybody.

'He did play very well on Saturday. He accelerated his innings beautifully and he looks a really class act.'

Swardeston hope to continue their swaggering form against Burwell at The Common, Great Witchingham continue their search for a first win – after seven draws – at Sudbury and Mallards are at home to Woolpit.

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