Swardeston and Horsford ready to battle for Carter Cup
Horsford and Swardeston will look to claim the local bragging rights on Sunday when they meet in the Carter Cup final.
The East Anglian Premier League rivals will meet in the final of the 60-over competition at Manor Park, having both overcome Norfolk Alliance opponents in the semi-finals.
Horsford edged a thrilling semi-final against Sprowston by just one run, taking the final wicket with the penultimate ball of the match.
Swardeston beat Fakenham by 50 runs in the other semi-final and are looking to lift more silverware at Manor Park, having beaten Norwich in the final of the Norfolk T20 at the same venue last month.
Great Witchingham beat 10-time winners Vauxhall Mallards last season to land their first Carter Cup crown. This year, Swardeston will be looking to add to their seven previous triumphs in the competition – the last of which came in 2009 – while Horsford have won it twice before, in 1988 and 1998.
Horsford go into the match with hopes high after two successive league victories but know they face a tough task against EAPL leaders Swardeston, who won by 84 runs against Horsford in the league at the start of August.
Horsford skipper Chris Brown said: “Swardeston are going well but we’ve played well in our last two games, beating Bury (by 162 runs) and then a good performance against Norwich (winning by three wickets).
“I’m really looking forward to it because it should be a very competitive game but that’s how cricket should be played, so I know all the lads are looking forward to it.”
With Swardeston also closing in on a third successive EAPL title, the visitors will go into the game with plenty of momentum.
They will be without big-hitting youngster Callum Taylor, who is still on duty with England Under-17s.
Otherwise Swardeston have a full-strength squad to pick from, as they look to bounce back from defeat in the Natwest T20 south-east finals.
Skipper Mark Thomas said: “We played Horsford a couple of weeks ago but I think they will maybe be a bit stronger this time and unfortunately we are missing Callum Taylor.
“The Carter Cup is always a priority because it has been a big competition ever since I can remember, but everything we go into we want to try and do well in.”
The final begins at 10.30am on Sunday morning at Manor Park, with a bar and barbecue available from midday.