Swardeston take Cockspur Twenty20 glory at the Rose Bowl


Swardeston were crowned national club Twenty20 champions on a memorable evening under the Rose Bowl lights.

The Norfolk side recorded a magnificent 11-run win over South Northumberland, with Norfolk batsman Peter Lambert picking up the man of the match award after making a sparkling 72.

The final began badly for Swardeston as, after electing to bat, they made a disastrous start with three lbw decisions leaving them reeling.

First Will Rist was trapped in front to the third ball of the innings before skipper Mark Thomas followed suit in the next over. Zimbabwean Richard Sims was also sent on his way by the umpire to leave the Norfolk side on 11 for three.

Lambert, who had held the innings together in the semi-final victory over Wimbledon earlier in the day, again responded well to the crisis as he pulled Jonathan Wightman for four and followed up with the first six of the day, a beautifully timed lofted straight drive.

Just as a recovery seemed on the cards, Swardeston’s key man, Jaden Hatwell, misjudged a full delivery from Humble and was bowled.

There was a heart in the mouth moment for George Walker as he narrowly avoided his second golden duck of the day with a close lbw call, for once, going the batsman’s way.

The vice-captain made the most of his fortune as he employed the reverse sweep to good effect on his way to an important 22, before he sliced to gully off Lee Crozier.

Up to that point Lambert was concentrating on not throwing his wicket away, but now, with the main responsibility on his shoulders, the Norfolk batsman flourished.

He took a couple of strides down the pitch to launch Hooker over the ropes in the 17th over and, with confidence surging, went on to propel Swardeston to the highest total of the day.

Swardeston added 39 runs in the last four overs, with Lambert lofting the final ball of the innings over the ropes for his fifth maximum.

Michael Eccles held a sharp return catch in the third over of the Northumberland reply to remove Sam Jobson.

Christopher-John Hewison and Chris Hooker steadily rebuilt, putting together a partnership of 43 before Hooker tried to reverse sweep Walker and was given out lbw.

Smart fielding from Jonny Cooper saw Hewison run out for 24 as the Swardeston slow bowlers piled on the pressure.

John Graham and James Miller added 40 as they opted for steady accumulation to keep Northumberland in the hunt with wickets in hand.

But the partnership was broken when Hatwell held a superb one-handed catch off his own bowling to remove big-hitting Graham.

Sims claimed two wickets and although there were a few misfields and dropped catches under the floodlights, Swardeston’s victory was confirmed by a typically economical final over from Eccles.

Earlier, Swardeston bowled superbly to defend a small target successfully in their semi-final against Wimbledon.

Hatwell and Sims calmly recovered the situation after both Swardeston openers had departed with only 18 on the board, putting on 40 for the third wicket.

But after the experienced duo holed out in quick succession, Walker was bowled first ball by ex-Swardeston bowler Richard Banham to make it 63 for five.

Lambert rescued matters with 33 from 27 balls, but the final score of 103 for nine looked vulnerable.

Sam Thelwell was hit for successive fours by Steve Trenchard in his first over, but responded by having the opener caught behind with his next delivery and Swardeston immediately seized control.

Michael Eccles bowled a wicket maiden and spinners Hatwell and Sims created a stranglehold on the run rate.

Some late hitting from Will Leith could not save Wimbledon and they were left needing 10 from the last ball. Eccles rounded matters off nicely by bowling Paul Pieterse to send Swardeston into the final.

Article courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press


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