Swardeston overcame old adversaries Vauxhall Mallards in a tight finish to reach the semi-finals of the Carter Cup yesterday.
Chasing Mallards’ total of 166 all out, Swardeston looked safe at 152 for five, but the loss of three quick wickets set nerves jangling at The Common. It was left to Norfolk captain George Walker to see the hosts over the line and they will now take on Norwich in the last four.
There was a shock in the other quarter-final yesterday as Alliance Division Three side Garboldisham beat Division One leaders Mattishall by three wickets and they will now face Sprowston.
Mallards chose to bat first at Swardeston and after a solid start between Carl Amos and Richard Goodenough, Simon Dyer bowled the latter for 15 with the score on 34. Matthew Plater added 15 as the score passed 50, but Swardeston skipper Mark Thomas trapped him lbw and then Michael Parlane won the battle of the overseas players, having Christiaan Schoemann stumped with the score on 73.
That sparked a wobble among the Mallards middle order as they slumped to 90 for six and it needed some brave late order resistance from Olly Stone (16), Brett Stolworthy (18) and Stuart Lipshaw (17no) to steer the visitors to a respectable total.
Michael Eccles returned to the attack to take two wickets, the innings being completed when Martin Addison sliced to Ian Tufts with one over remaining.
The Swardeston reply started badly as Jordan Taylor was given out lbw first ball to Paul Bradshaw and the Mallards skipper followed up by bowling Stephen Gray for nine.
Peter Lambert looked in confident mood with a sumptuous drive down the ground off Addison, but he became Bradshaw’s third victim with the score on 38.
Parlane and Richard Sims joined forces in a stand of 64, before Sims’ fluent innings was ended as he was caught behind off Stone for 47.
Swardeston went into tea on 121 for five and after the break Parlane – shrugging off his poor run of form – stepped up the pace, reaching his 50 and bringing up the 150 by dispatching a wide Addison delivery for four.
The New Zealander fell for 52 when Stone took a well judged catch at mid-off to give Bradshaw his fourth wicket and when Thomas fired his first ball, from Addison, into the hands of Bradshaw, nine runs were still needed with two wickets intact.
But Walker (9no) and Eccles (4no) held their nerve to complete victory in the 44th over.
Article courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press – www.edp24.co.uk