Villagers put faith in youth

KEITH PEEL Swardeston are investing in youth as they build for the future. “Running a cricket club these days is a very expensive business,” explained club captain Peter Thomas.

KEITH PEEL

Swardeston are investing in youth as they build for the future.

“Running a cricket club these days is a very expensive business,” explained club captain Peter Thomas.

“So we've decided that what spare money we do have will be spent on our youth coaching scheme, rather than on bringing in an overseas player, and that we will push youngsters through.


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“That could mean we'll be relegated from the Premier Division of the Lovewell Blake Norfolk Alliance, but at least we'll then be playing at a level we want to, rather than having spent £3000 or £4000 on an overseas player to try to keep us in the top flight.

He added: “There are five or six players in the side now aged under 18 or 19 and it gives me great pleasure to see them doing well.”

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Swardeston stay seventh in the table after a losing draw at on Saturday at Downham Market.

Downham posted 208 for four, with Sam McLeod scoring 76 not out and Alex Stuart 62.

Swardeston scored 95 for nine in reply, with Robert Ebbage contributing 31.

All the other Premier Division fixtures were abandoned because of rain, which leaves North Runcton top by five points from Great Witchingham, who are bidding to make up for two near misses in their quest for promotion to the East Anglian Premier League.

Having fallen at the final play-off hurdle in 2004 and finished second to Horsford last season, skipper Dennis Rogers is determined to make it third time lucky in his bid to join the elite.

“It was slightly disappointing last season, but Horsford had the better of both games against us so we can't really complain,” said Rogers, whose side won the league in 2004 before losing a play-off final to Mildenhall.

His team is largely unchanged from last season, with the formidable opening partnership of Norfolk star Carl Rogers and Shaun Arthurton again spearheading the assault on honours.

Witchingham have enlisted the services of two new overseas players, with 18-year-old South African leg spinner Stephan Le Roux joining as first team professional. He replaces Aussie batsman Andrew Hicks, who has moved to Oxfordshire.

All-rounder Kyle McAllister, 19, has joined the club's second team.

All of Saturday's Alliance Division One matches were also abandoned, but, in Division Two, Garboldisham moved off the bottom with a winning draw at Hunstanton, who scored 122 for nine in reply to 179 for eight.

Sheringham extended their Division Three lead with a four-wicket defeat of East Harling.

Nigel Crickmore hit an unbeaten 98 and Jon Briggs 58 not out as Harling posted 200 for two.

Kieron Tuck spearheaded the 201 for six reply with 105 not out.

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