Shock for Norfolk cricket as Vauxhall Mallards reveal they will folding at end of season

Alfie Cooper loses his wicket as Bury St Edmunds put Swardeston under some pressure in Saturday's EA

Alfie Cooper loses his wicket as Bury St Edmunds put Swardeston under some pressure in Saturday's EAPL fixture at The Common Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Vauxhall Mallards Cricket Club will be folding at the end of the season.

The dramatic news was revealed by the East Anglian Premier League at the weekend after Mallards had been forced to concede their match at leaders Frinton because of a lack of available players. Their demise comes less than a year after they won the very last Carter Cup Final at Manor Park but follows a difficult campaign that has seen the demise of their second team in the Norfolk Alliance and numerous heavy defeats.

The Halvergate-based club will be fulfilling their remaining nine EAPL fixtures - but will disappearing from the cricketing map after their final game of the campaign at home to Copdock and Old Ipswichian on September 14.

"The East Anglian Premier League management committee has been aware for some time that due to the loss players the problems faced by Vauxhall Mallards," said secretary Andy Abbott in a statement. "The committee has wanted to give the club every opportunity to try and secure a future.

"It is with regret the club have advised the league that all avenues have now been exhausted and that the inaugural winners in 1999 will withdraw and disband at the end of the season.

"Unfortunately, due to holidays and injuries the club reluctantly conceded Saturday's game at Frinton. However, they have assured the league that they will be able to fulfil the remainder of their fixtures in 2019.

"The League will be making no further comment until after the management committee has had an opportunity to discuss matters. The next scheduled meeting is on August 6."

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Mallards were inaugural members of the EAPL and after winning the very first title went on to be champions on four further occasions. Their glory years came at Brundall, which witnessed countless memorable games featuring the big names of East Anglian cricket.

In 2014, following the expiry of their lease on the ground they moved eight miles east to the Queen Elizabeth II Playing Field at Halvergate. The facilities were upgraded to EAPL standards and the venue now has two arenas - but from 2020 there will be only one team playing there, original occupants Halvergate CC, who compete in the second tier of the Norfolk League.