Swardeston put on their Sunday best as they booked a Carter Cup double date. The club’s adults and their junior counterparts both scored convincing victories in semi-finals at the weekend.
The senior team, skippered by Mark Thomas, made light work of their match at North Runcton – cruising to a 10-wicket victory in double quick time.
After Runcton won the toss and decided to bat, their batsmen struggled as Norfolk pace duo Michael Eccles and Mark Thomas got into gear. Eccles, playing his second comeback game after suffering a broken bone in his foot, took three wickets with Thomas claiming four. Only Paul Harwood (76) and Peter Coote appeared comfortable as Runcton posted a 190-9 total.
Swardeston’s reply was dominated by an excellent unbeaten century from Ian Tufts who scored 107 in 110 balls with Darin Goodrum supporting well with his 72.
Swardeston will play Vauxhall Mallards in the August 14 (10.45am) final at Horsford.
Paul Bradshaw’s team, the trophy holders, beat Norwich in a thrilling semi-final at Ingham. A gripping showdown was decided on the penultimate ball of the match with Mallards reaching 311-4 in reply to Norwich’s 310-6 total.
Carter Cup organising committee chairman John Bettridge said the Swardeston v Mallards showdown appeared to have all the ingredients for a classic final.
Mallards will be aiming to lift the trophy for the fifth year in succession, while four-times winners Swardeston, beaten by Great Yarmouth and Martham in 2001, will be looking for their first final win since 1994.
“Swardeston are having a better time of it in the EAPL this year and the gap between them and Mallards has definitely narrowed.
“Swardeston beat Mallards in the Biss Trophy semi-final so obviously Mallards will be looking for revenge. I hope it will be a cracking Carter Cup final,” said Bettridge.
Meanwhile the Swardeston/ CEYMS Sharks Under 17 team are celebrating after reaching the final of the inaugural Junior Carter Cup.
They beat Horsford Knights by 86 runs to clinch a final date at Horsford on September 4 with the winners of the North Runcton Raiders v Diss Mafia semi-final. Captain Daniel Martin hit 61 in Swardeston’s 181 total and then took three wickets as Horsford were dismissed for 95.
It means that Swardeston have their eyes on a possible Sunday silverware hat-trick as they play North Runcton in the Biss Trophy final next month.
“We’re very pleased to have reached the Carter Cup final again and we’re delighted that the Under 17 team is in the junior final,” said Swardeston spokesman Stuart Bartram.