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Norfolk pride is at stake for old rivals

PUBLISHED: 08:30 25 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 01 July 2010

Phil Banyard

With Norfolk clubs' grip on the EAPL apparently slipping, the county's two big guns will both be looking to step back into the title race when they meet tomorrow.

With Norfolk clubs' grip on the EAPL apparently slipping, the county's two big guns will both be looking to step back into the title race when they meet tomorrow.

Reigning champions Vauxhall Mallards welcome the team they dethroned, Swardeston, to Brundall, with both sides aiming to recover from disappointing results against struggling sides last weekend.

Mallards drew at Halstead in a game curtailed by rain, while Swardeston's last wicket pair were left batting out for a draw at home to bottom side Fakenham.

That allowed leaders Saffron Walden to move 31 points clear of Swardeston - and 56 ahead of Mallards - while Cambridge Granta also moved up into second.

The match at Brundall is one of three Norfolk derbies tomorrow.

Fakenham, unbeaten in five but without a win since May 17, are at home to a Great Witchingham side who have slipped to mid-table.

Horsford, in fourth, have managed to maintain their positive start and they play Norwich at Manor Park.

t Chris Gardiner bagged five wickets to send Swardeston through to the semi-finals of the NACO Invitation Cup at the expense of Downham on Sunday.

Swardeston opted to bat first and opener Will Rist batted positively, making 62 from 69 balls. Ian Tufts added 65 in a 95-run stand for the ffith wicket with Richard Sims (44) as Swardeston posted 262 for eight from their 50 overs, with three wickets each for Addam Todd and Joss Stuart.

Gardiner then claimed five for 29 as Downham were bowled out for 149 in the 46th over, Patrick Yates top scoring with 35.

Swardeston will be at home in the semi-finals to Norwich, who beat Lowestoft by six wickets.

Mpho Sekhoto top scored with 46 in Lowestoft's 185 for seven after they were put into bat, with New Zealander Sam Noster picking up three for 47.

Norwich slumped to 20 for three in reply, but a fourth wicket stand of 158 between Ashley Watson (64) and skipper Chris Borrett (89no) put them on course for victory, which they achieved in the 43rd over.

Vauxhall Mallards will host Horsford in the other semi-final.

Mallards won by 58 runs at Great Witchingham, with Peter Free hitting 51 and James Marshall making 47 in the visitors' total of 188.

Shaun Arthurton dominated Witchingham's reply, firing 75 as they reached 114 for three. But after he was out, the hosts capitulated to 130 all out, with Paul Bradshaw (four for 21) and Rob Purton (three for 22) the chief wicket-takers.

Horsford were comfortable winners at home to Old Buckenham.

The semi-finals will be played on Sunday, July 18.

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