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Vauxhall Mallards bow out on a winning note as Paul Bradshaw takes 6-28

PUBLISHED: 07:53 16 September 2019

Brothers Jordan and Callum Taylor take a breather during Swardeston's final EAPL match of the season at Horsford Picture: TIM FERLEY

Brothers Jordan and Callum Taylor take a breather during Swardeston's final EAPL match of the season at Horsford Picture: TIM FERLEY

Archant

Vauxhall Mallards' final game before disbanding was one to remember as the current group of players did the famous name proud by securing an impressive victory.

Ethan Metcalf, who is just 14, in action for Horsford against Swardeston on Saturday Picture: TIM FERLEYEthan Metcalf, who is just 14, in action for Horsford against Swardeston on Saturday Picture: TIM FERLEY

Adam Todd's side followed up last weekend's success at Great Witchingham by seeing off Copdock and Old Ipswichian by 80 runs, with club stalwart Paul Bradshaw bringing the curtain down with a magnificent exhibition of seam bowling.

The former Norfolk skipper, who has been playing for Mallards for 25 years, took 6-28 as the visitors were dismissed for just 74 in the last Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League match to be staged at Halvergate, which will now revert to a Norfolk League venue.

Lack of numbers prompted the decision to disband, but the club still had some top quality cricketers doing them proud right to the end and they at least ensured the final memories would be positive ones on what was obviously a desperately sad occasion.

Mallards also showed plenty of spirit with the bat to get up to 154, after being 95-9 at one stage. Todd led the fightback with an unbeaten 51 while last man James Bridges provided support by scoring 19.

Swardeston ended a frustrating EAPL campaign on a high note when they saw off Horsford by 123 runs at Manor Park to finish 26 points behind Frinton who had clinched the title the previous weekend and beat Cambridge by eight wickets in their final fixture.

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The visitors fielded nine of the side who will be competing at Lord's today in the final of the Royal London Club Championship, with only Richard Sims and Mark Thomas not involved, although with the big date in mind none of their bowlers delivered more than five overs.

Swardeston's batsmen warmed up for their dream date by making 261, with Stephen Gray top scoring with 68 and Alfie Cooper making a useful 42.

Fourth placed Horsford were dismissed for only 138 in reply although there was a notable positive as 14-year-old Ethan Metcalf, who had been given a chance to impress, top scored with 35. Gray took a break from wicket-keeping duties to have a bowl and wrapped the innings up by taking 3-6 in just 10 balls.

Sam Arthurton ended the season in style by making 161 as Great Witchingham romped to a 213 run win at Burwell and Exning. The Norfolk opener hit 19 fours and three sixes in a 137 ball knock to help the Witches up to a daunting 332-8 in their 50 overs, with Matthew Long (40) and Hudson de Lucchi (38) providing a helping hand. Arthurton's knock took him to the top of the EAPL scoring charts with 872 runs at 62.29, just ahead of Swardeston's Joe Gatting (843 at 56.20).

The hosts collapsed from 56-0 to 119 all out in reply as Brett Stolworthy (3-22) and Andy Hanby (3-29) got stuck in.

Meanwhile Norfolk Alliance Premier Division champions North Runcton will be visiting Sawston and Babraham on Saturday for a place in the EAPL next season.

The Cambridgeshire side cruised into the final on Sunday when they beat Witham by 139 runs in a one-sided semi-final after making 281-7 in their 50 overs.

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