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Swardeston gear up for new campaign

Posted in Recreational

One day away from the start of the league season and we face going into the season without a sponsor for the first time in over 15 years. I guess this a sign of the times but this is especially hard to accept following the club’s success in the Cockspur Twenty20.

The first team squad has enjoyed a great winter with an amazing team bonding trip to Barbados thanks to the Cockspur Twenty20 win. It was great that we could take our groundsman of 40 years Pat Hall. Little reward for all the work he has done over the years.

Indoor nets started in early February and with only five nets we were keen to get out in the middle and start where we left off last season. We were fortunate to organize a weekend trip on the weekend of 16th and 17th April to play Wimbledon on the Saturday followed by a team bonding night out and Ealing on the Sunday.

We set off from the common (our home ground and usual departure place) in Swardeston at 8:30am on the Saturday morning. All of the older guys having saved up all winter to pay for fuel and regular trips to the bar for the younger members of the team! We arrived on time for a 1pm start. The ground was across the road from the All England tennis club and was quite possibly the best club ground I have played on (with the exception of Swardeston common!).

A great ground and great wicket were a far cry from our village green setting in Swardeston. This led to a great game where we chased down 290 for the loss of five wickets with an over to spare. Joel Abraham getting a hundred on debut and Richard Sims also getting a hundred.

After a couple of beers in the pavilion we headed back to the Travelodge and prepared ourselves for a few beers in the Clapham area.

Up bright and early the next day, after an athlete’s breakfast (McDonalds!) we headed off to Ealing. The captain (myself) made his best decision of the weekend reducing the game from 45 overs to 40 overs. With a number bleary-eyed and a few feeling the effects of bowling and fielding the day before we were set a challenging 231 off 40 overs. We finished on 225 for eight. Another good game of cricket and a good warm-up weekend for the side.

It is great for cricket in Norfolk and cricket in general that a team from a small village in Norfolk can compete in these fixtures. The Cockspur Cup win last season has clearly contributed to this and it was a great team effort but I must mention a great performance that day from Peter Lambert in the final. We hope the team and Peter can take this form into the new season.

An 11pm arrival home then it was back to work for most of us at 9am in the morning! A tricky selection for the first weekend can only bode well for the new season and a larger squad of 14 to 15 will be great for a team which has in previous years picked itself. We will be ready for our 8:30am departure on Saturday for our first game at Burwell. Lets hope the sun keeps shining.

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