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T20 success for Swardeston

Posted in Recreational

Mark Thomas

July was a good month for Swardeston, who won the final of the Norfolk 20/20

After a very dry start to the summer the rain definitely came in July.

With 15 games gone in the league and seven remaining, Swardeston sit top of the table with a 28-point lead.

Although we had to cope with one washout, two very convincing victories against Burwell and Sudbury followed by what should have been a convincing win at Saffron Walden took us to our current position.

Richard Sims announced his return to league cricket with a fine 122 not out against Sudbury. Not everyone around the common was happy when the surrounding houses were being peppered by Simsy's nine sixes!

Wickets taken have been shared between spin and seam. Maybe that is also a sign of the weather too.

The Saffron Walden victory was particularly pleasing as they fielded a stronger team boasting plenty of first-class experience in Jason Gallian, Mark Pettini, Elliot Wilson and Darren Cousins. In fact Mark Pettini ended up making 111 out of 186.

We looked to be cruising at 160 for two thanks to Jaden Hatwell and Richard Sims, but, after a typical Swardeston collapse, we scraped home by three wickets.

However, the highlight of July, without doubt, was the final of the Norfolk 20/20.

We were firstly lucky that it was played on Friday July 15 - one of the few sunny evenings of the month.

There was a big crowd anticipating a very tight game, with our opponents Horsford unbeaten on their home ground (which is also the county ground) in 2011.

We lost the toss and were asked to field first. A fine all-round bowling display restricted them to 109, never enough on what was a pretty good wicket.

Swardeston CC

Swardeston's players celebrate their eight-wicket victory over Horsford. Richard Sims collected the man-of-the-match award

We knocked the total off for the loss of two wickets, with four overs to spare, to send the majority of the crowd home disappointed.

We picked up the winners cheque of £1,000 and now progress to the final play-off with the other half of the East Anglian League. Richard Sims picked up the man-of-the-match award as he and last year's hero Peter Lambert guided us home with ease.

We have also progressed through to one Norfolk Cup final. However we were outplayed by our arch rivals Vauxhall Mallards in a replay of the semi-final of the premier Norfolk 60-over competition (Carter Cup) on Sunday.

The collapse on Saturday at Saffron Walden was nothing compared to being left at 23 for six chasing 289 on Sunday. We did well to make 160 but that did not lighten the blow of losing.

Onwards and upwards and the final of the EAPL 20/20 on Friday against Cambridge Granta who have already made the last eight of the ECB National 45 over competition. Followed by a home league game against Horsford who defeated us in the first league encounter.

Preparations have also started for our 25th annual Stag Dinner. The date was set for Monday 26th September but a last minute rearrangement was necessary as Norwich City's match against Sunderland is on Sky TV.

All is in place now for Tuesday 20th September and with a guest speaker of Alec Stewart we are all hoping our biggest annual fundraiser will be a huge success.

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