Three Norfolk clubs remain in contention for the EAPL title after victories on Saturday – but another win this Saturday could see Swardeston crowned as champions.
Mark Thomas’ side secured maximum points with a 102-run win at home to Saffron Walden and they now stand 33 points clear of Horsford and 34 ahead of Vauxhall Mallards, who they play on the final day on Saturday week.
Swardeston were put into bat at The Common and were indebted to a third wicket partnership of 122 between Michael Parlane and Peter Lambert.
Lambert fell just before lunch for 67 – his top score in the league this summer – but Parlane went on to reach his century from 156 balls. He eventually departed for 124, having struck 15 fours and four sixes, but Jeremy Elliott (24no) and skipper Mark Thomas (31no) added 54 as Swardeston declared on 307 for seven from 63 overs.
In reply Saffron Walden were soon struggling with Michael Eccles picking up the wickets of Alex Jackson, caught at slip by Lambert, and Giles Ecclestone, caught behind, in his third and fourth overs.
George Walker and Thomas struck twice each and Eccles grabbed another as Walden limped to 148 for seven, but Andrew Gale (40no) and Stephen Larsen looked set to frustrate the hosts with a stand of 53.
With less than five overs remaining, Thomas finally removed Larsen, given out hit wicket, and the skipper then took the final two wickets to finish with five for 40 as Walden were all out for 205 in the 55th over.
Swardeston could bypass the need for a tense final day showdown with Vauxhall Mallards if they win at Copdock & Old Ipswichian.
Mark Thomas’ side currently lead the table by 33 points and a maximum (30) points haul tomorrow would guarantee them their third EAPL title, regardless of results elsewhere.
Swardeston won the reverse fixture earlier in the season by just two wickets, despite bowling Copdock out for only 82.
Article courtesy of the Eastern Daily Press – www.edp24.co.uk