Swardeston have captured their third East Anglian Premier League crown – taking just 28 minutes to put the destiny of the title beyond doubt in their final day shoot-out with Vauxhall Mallards at the Common.
Knowing they had to win the toss, bat first without losing more than one wicket and bowl Swardeston out for a lesser score below 150, Mallards managed to achieve the first stage of mission improbable when the coin came down in skipper Paul Bradshaw’s favour.
Had Swardeston won the toss, they would have effectively won the title before a ball had been bowled by making it impossible for Mallards to obtain the points needed to pip their long-standing rivals at the post.
However within half an hour the Brundall outfit’s dream was in tatters as Norfolk opening bowler Michael Eccles had them reeling at 9-2, including the key second wicket of David Turner.
Three wickets from Mark Thomas saw Mallards slump to 33-5 and facing humiliation at the hands of their archrivals before Olly Stone (20) and Richard Goodenough (23) sparked a revival.
Spinner George Walker wiped away the lower order on his way to 4 for 23 as Mallards reached a modest 109 total in the 34th over.
On paper, it was a total that did not look to present too big a challenge to the hosts.
But Mallards dug deep to deny 2007 and 2008 title winners Swardeston the chance to put the icing on the cake, skittling them out for 79 in the 28th over.
Oliver Stone, Bradshaw and Martin Addison shared nine wickets in the 30-run win which secured runners-up position.