Swardeston set to begin quest for third successive East Anglian Premier Cricket League title

Jonathan Sole bowling for Swardeston at Great Witchingham on Saturday.  Photo: Bill Smith Jonathan Sole bowling for Swardeston at Great Witchingham on Saturday. Photo: Bill Smith

Friday, April 18, 2014
6:30 AM

The local cricket season returns tomorrow with the first weekend of fixtures in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.

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Swardeston with the EAPL 2013 trophy.Swardeston with the EAPL 2013 trophy.

Reigning champions Swardeston get their season underway with a home clash against Copdock & Old Ipswichian, who finished second from bottom last year.

Swardeston are looking to win their third successive EAPL title this season but skipper Mark Thomas is not getting ahead of himself at this early stage, saying: “Our team will be pretty similar to last season. We’ve got a young side so we’re just looking forward to the start of the season.

“No game is easy in this league, the one thing is we must not get complacent, because you can also lose to anyone at this level.”

Norwich begin their return to the EAPL at Vauxhall Mallards, who are playing at their new ground at Halvergate.

Five-time EAPL winners Vauxhall were left in limbo during the close season after the lease ran out on their Strumpshaw Road pitch at Brundall.

However a deal was struck with Norfolk Cricket Alliance club Halvergate for the Mallards to use their Wickhampton Road ground and remain at EAPL level.

Horsford finished eighth last season and have a potentially difficult trip to get their campaign underway, against Saffron Walden, who finished in fourth place last term.

Skipper Chris Brown said: “We played them in the corresponding fixture last season and played them away and managed to get 30 points and beat the quite comfortably, but we have a different side and they are always useful.”

Luke Carswell (Ashmanhaugh & Barton) and Matt Spenceley (Fakenham) have both moved on and Matt Love has not returned from Australia, so the Horsford side will have a new look.

Among the new faces will be Robbie Bridgestock and Caleb Footer have joined from Vauxhall Mallards, Ben France and Tim Alexander from Clacton and Chris Read from Hales.

Brown added: “A couple of years ago we did well in the league and finished third so last year was a bit disappointing. After starting off well we petered away and at one point we were facing relegation but we managed to string a few results together.

“We’re hoping to string some good performances together to start with this season and then we’ll look to build from there.”

Send you cricket photos and reports for consideration to norfolksport@archant.co.uk

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