Swardeston won by 49 runs to move up to third in the EAPL just 14 points behind Saffron Walden. Great Witchingham included Pakistani test player Mohammed Asif in their eleven, but that didn’t deter Swardeston skipper Mark Thomas from batting first after winning the toss. Asif, a controversial figure who was banned for a year after failing a drugs test in 2008 is included in the squad for this summer’s tests against Australia and England. Swardeston handled Asif without too many concerns although Will Rist fell early to Seb Logan. Daniel Martin (49) and Richard Sims saw off the opening pair and added 66 for the second wicket before Martin fell to Carl Rogers. Sims, returning to the Swardeston side after work commitments was joined by Jaden Hatwell and they added 124 for the third wicket before Hatwell was out for 70 (9 4’s, 2 6’s, 85 balls). Sims followed shortly after for 86 in a patient innings of 152 balls (9 4’s, 1 6), while Asif had to settle for just one wicket in his eighteen over allocation. Spinner James Hale took 5 for 39 as Swardeston went for quick runs but the hosts posted 262 for 8 from their 66 overs.
In reply Great Witchingham raced to 28 off the first three overs, but the introduction of spin saw Rogers (9) fall to George Walker, James Spelman (39) and Asif (8) soon followed. Sam Arthurton (50) and Tom Collishaw (25) added 63 for the fourth wicket but the visitors then steadily lost wickets and despite contributions from Simon Chipperfield (27), Shaun Arthurton (28) and Logan (22) the spin of Walker (4-56) and Hatwell (4-36) saw Swardeston take the points twelve minutes before time.
The second XI consolidated their second position in Norfolk Alliance Division One with a five wicket win at Bradenham. The hosts were quickly reduced to 22-4 with Dale Reynolds (2-43) and Chris Gardiner (4-36) taking two early wickets each. Mark Hunter (67), Brett Stolworthy (51*), Robert Thurley (35) and Kevin Blakey (31) enabled Bradenham to post 220, Neil Fox taking 3-46. Swardeston paced their innings well with Steven Cadge (80) and Rob Newman (52) adding 98 for the third wicket, Callum Taylor (20*) showing maturity beyond his years saw them home.
In Division Two the third XI had the worst of a draw at Garboldisham. D Cash scoring 101 for the hosts in their 287-7, David Horrex taking 3-65. In reply Matt Hogg hit an unbeaten 63 as the vistors closed on 189-7.
The CEYMS team secured a winning draw against Garboldisham A. James Hooper (122) and David Micklethwaite (77) added 200 for the first wicket as they posted 276-4. In reply Garboldisham struggled to 202-7 with H Youngson top scoring with 35. Robbie Bridgstock (2-12) and Toby Fletcher (2-50) led the wicket takers.
On Sunday it was a case of after the Lord Mayors Show as Swardeston’s defence of the Carter Cup finished at the semi-final stage. Having won the toss Swardeston posted 215 with only Jaden Hatwell (71), George Walker (46) and Richard Sims (40) reaching double figures. In reply Fakenham were always favourite after Sanjaya Rodrigo took the attack to the bowlers, only Walker (12-2-28-0) and Sims were able to stem the tide and Sims eventually dismissed Rodrigo for 136 leading to a flurry of wickets as Fakenham stumbled toward the winning line, Sim finished with 4-24 from his spell but it wasn’t enough to stop Fakenham crossing the line.
The Mid Norfolk side won their Challenge Cup semi-final against Anglians at Hilltops. Batting first they posted 224-6. Steven Cadge top scored with 83 and added 79 for the fifth wicket with David Micklethwaite (58). Only S Hales (58) caused Swardeston problems as Anglians were bowled out for 190. Robbie Micklethwaite (4-48) and Matt Hogg (3-34) led the wicket takers as Swardeston reached the final winning by 34 runs.