Year of contrasting emotions, chairman tells annual meeting

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Swardeston Cricket Club’s championship winning season of 2007 was one of contrasting emotions, chairman Mark Taylor told the club’s annual meeting.

On one hand was the sheer delight of the club winning its first ever East Anglian Premier League title.

Yet the triumph was tinged with a great deal of sadness at the death during the summer of club stalwart John Bobbin. “There we were having finally achieved what we had set out to do but John was not there to share our joy,” said Taylor.

“It was with a huge amount of pride that I was at Ingham to see the 1st XI secure the EAPL title after a fantastic season from a side with an average age of 22,” he added.

Taylor said Bobbin had been instrumental in Swardeston’s rise through Norfolk cricket to the position it enjoyed today as one of the leading clubs in East Anglia. “John worked hard to help ensure the club progressed from year to year but also never lost its true club spirit.”

Club captain Peter Thomas also paid tribute to Bobbin and to the 1st XI captained by his son Mark. “I know John would have been very proud to see that seven out of the 11 in the EAPL team had come up through our youth policy,” he said.

Taylor also paid tribute to youth cricket manager Stuart Shearing who has stepped down after more than five years in the role. “Stuart has tirelessly led the development of our youth section which is now the envy of many clubs and he deserves our special thanks.”

Mark Thomas said winning the EAPL was the season’s highlight after finishing as runners-up in 2006. The team had near misses in both the Carter Cup and Biss Trophy finals. Winning the Norfolk 20-20 at Horsford and the Floodlit 20-20 at Mallards had been very enjoyable.

He was hopeful the team would remain the same for 2008 with “perhaps one or two additions.”

Peter Thomas said the 2nd XI’s promotion back to the Norfolk Alliance premier division was a great effort from a young team but warned 2008 would be a much harder challenge.

Stuart Shearing paid tribute to his A team who had finished a comfortable mid-table in Alliance Division Two despite using 32 players and not fielding the same side twice running. This had included 12 under-16s which boded well for the club’s future.

The Sunday XI had finished 3rd in the Mid Norfolk Sunday League premier division with a team which regularly fielded eight players who were under 20.

Officers elected

President: Arthur Thomas
Chairman: Mark Taylor
Vice-Chairman: Norman Bygrave
Secretary: Phil Kerridge
Treasurer: Tony Bailey
Premier XI Captain, Women’s Cricket Manager: Mark Thomas
Premier XI Vice-Captain: George Walker
2nd XI Captain, Club Captain, Fixture Secretary, Youth Cricket Manager: Peter Thomas
2nd XI Vice-Captain: Richard Dolding
A XI Captain: Stuart Shearing
Club Welfare Officer: Chris Watts
Director of Coaching: David Thomas
Groundsman: Pat Hall
Sponsorship Secretary, Media Officer: Stuart Bartram
Selection Committee: Mark Thomas, George Walker, Peter Thomas, Richard Dolding, Stuart Shearing
Club Committee: Officers above plus Kevin Cooper, Ian Tufts
Scorers: Norman Bygrave, Nigel Goddard

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