Swardeston CC Step Closer to Club Cricket History
Swardeston CC are one step away from creating club cricket history after the East Anglians defeated Nantwich CC by 59 runs in a rain-affected Royal London Club Championship final at Lord’s.
Half-centuries from man-of-the-match Peter Lambert and Alfie Cooper paved the way for Swardeston’s victory after they piled up 280 for seven from their 40 overs.
Nantwich briefly threatened as Ryan Brown and Luke Robinson produced some power hitting of their own, but both fell soon after an hour-long rain delay as the Cheshire club were bowled out for 193.
Victory for Swardeston means they can now become the first club to win the 40-over and Twenty20 national titles in the same year ahead of their trip to Derby on Sunday for the Vitality National Club T20.
“That would mean a lot,” said Lambert, after he crashed 60 from 37 balls.
“For a small village in the south of Norwich to win one national title is unbelievable but to win two national titles and be the only club in the country that could win both would be phenomenal.”
It would also be redemption for Swardeston after they fell short of the double three years ago when they won the T20 final but lost in the final of the 40-over championship.
Lambert was a member of that team, making a first-ball duck that day, but his fortunes could not have been more different as he and his team-mates made full use of a short boundary to clear the rope 10 times.
Captain Joe Gatting added 49 while Lewis Denmark hit three sixes in a 22-ball 34 late on to confirm a daunting chase.
“When you score 280 in a final that is a big score and runs in a final always helps,” Lambert said.
“Alfie set the tone and luckily today I came off as well and hit a few sixes.
“ It was great to contribute but to win as well is amazing and the lads have deserved it.
“They have put so much hard work in. Every one of us has contributed to get here on the Home of Cricket, this amazing place, and then to win is what stuff of dreams are made of.
“Nantwich made us worry for a while – they were whacking sixes everywhere - and credit has to go to them as well. The rain allowed us to reset and go again and our bowlers did well with a wet ball and a short boundary.”
Swardeston’s bowlers shared the wickets before Tom Oxley finished the game when he bowled James Warrington, who had himself earlier returned match-best figures of three for 60.
Swardeston will meet Cranleigh CC in the semi-finals on Club T20 Finals Day at the Pattonair County Ground on Sunday. In the other semi-final Sheffield Collegiate CC, the boyhood club of England Test captain Joe Root, are scheduled to play Toft CC.