The rain cleared on cue, the covers came off and the game got underway on time, kindly hosted by Great Melton.
Batting first, Swardeston-CEYMS made a super start, reaching 40 without loss from the first 6 overs, including a Lewis Gooderham six to get off the mark. Lewis plundered five further boundaries before he was bowled for 35 with the score on 69. Callum Taylor was joined by Swardeston-CEYMS skipper Jason Reynolds and, together, they maintained the momentum and took the score to 100 when Taylor was caught just shy of his 50, including six fours and a sweetly struck six over long on.
With seven overs still remaining, a mammoth 180 looked possible, but Lowestoft fought back gamely, wickets falling regularly from thereon as Swardeston-CEYMS battled to set a challenging total. Jason Reynolds was fifth out for 27 in the 17th over, including five nicely timed boundaries, one of four victims for Louis Cook who finished with the admirable figures of 4 for 24 from his maximum allotted quota. Michael Shea returned at the death to pick up three wickets of his own, giving the Swardeston lower order little opportunity to extend the score. Swardeston-CEYMS finished on 148 for 9 having used all their overs but feeling like they might only have a par score. Lowestoft meanwhile had conceded only nine extras.
After tea, Lowestoft’s reply got off to a faltering start, with two sharp catches by Matt Taylor and James Thacker, at mid-off and mid-on, off the bowling of Callum Taylor, restricting the batting side to 20 for 2 from 6 overs. The biggest partnership came for the sixth wicket when Tirrimanna and Shea added 35 to take the total to 70, but 14 overs had already been completed without passing the halfway mark. When the former was out bowled, the third of Jason Reynolds’ wickets in an excellent three over stint returning 3 for 3, the Lowestoft innings quickly subsided as they tried to up the run rate, starting with a reflex caught and bowled by Matt Taylor and followed by three run outs, two effected by Callum Taylor at the bowler’s end, during his fourth and final over, finishing with 2 for 16. Michael Shea finished unbeaten on 31, unable to make use of the remaining 3.5 overs. Swardeston had avenged a defeat at the hands of Lowestoft, in this age group, at the quarter-final stage last year.
Rarely out of the game at any point, Swardeston-CEYMS’ Callum Taylor was adjudicated to be man of the match for his fine all round performance. Before awarding the trophy and medals, Peter Thomas of Swardeston-CEYMS thanked the many people who had contributed to the whole competition from the start way back in May and the overall strength of Norfolk youth cricket was warmly acknowledged.
Match Summary: Swardeston-CEYMS 148 for 9 (20 overs), Lowestoft 82 all out (16.1 overs) – Swardeston-CEYMS won by 66 runs.
Photos courtesy of Alan Howard Photography – http://www.alanhowardphotography.co.uk