Mark Thomas is looking forward to exorcising the ghost of last season’s agonising Carter Cup final defeat when he leads his side into battle against Horsford on Sunday.
The Swardeston skipper bowled the final over in last year’s final and saw number 11 Martin Addison crash a crucial boundary before a scrambled leg bye off the final ball gave Vauxhall Mallards an incredible victory.
“We had a couple of chances, but I remember getting hit for four and that haunted me for most of the winter,” said Thomas. “We still had a chance to win off the last ball, but it wasn’t to be, so hopefully we can look forward to getting winners’ medals this year.”
It is a chance for Swardeston to secure the second part of a silverware quadruple – they already have the Norfolk 20/20 Cup in the bag, they hold a healthy lead in the East Anglian Premier League and they have reached the Biss Trophy final, where they will face old foes Mallards.
“We are playing pretty well and digging ourselves out of trouble,” said Thomas. “You could argue that one of these weeks we might not do that, but equally you could argue that we will all fire at the same time and hopefully that will be on Sunday.”
Having faced Mallards in each of the last three finals, many people assumed it would be the same again when the “big two” were kept apart in the semi-final draw. But Horsford ruined that theory and Thomas knows his side will face a tough test on Sunday: “I think most people expected Mallards to win, but Horsford do win games at Manor Park,” he said. “They have been hard to beat there in recent years and we certainly won’t be going into the game under-estimating them.”
Teenager Sam Thelwell comes into the Swardeston side on Sunday, having played mostly in the second XI this year. Thomas said: “He’s played every game for us in the Carter Cup this year and he’s probably unfortunate not to be playing for the first team on Saturdays, but we’ve been going in with just two seamers in the league. He’s a young lad who’s bowled well when he’s come in and I’m sure we’ll look to integrate him into the first team next year.”
Article courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press