Swardeston ease to victory in the EAPL Cup playoff final



Jordan Taylor scored an unbeaten 97 not out to ensure north group leaders Swardeston ran out comfortable winners in the EAPL Cup playoff final at Mildenhall Cricket Club on Sunday.


Sawston & Babraham, who were playing in an East Anglian Premier League competition for the first time in their history, can be proud of a very impressive campaign, winning nine of their ten matches on route to reaching the final.


The south group winners won the toss and elected to bat first but lost wickets at regular intervals with the score at 112-5.


Hope that they might have been able to take the total past 200 rested largely on the shoulders of vice-captain Callum Guest who was desperate for a partner on 31*. However, he was one of five wickets to fall for just 25 runs as the rams were bowled out for 162 in 38.5 overs with Guest top-scoring with 44.


Callum Taylor (3-23) and Toby Duncan (3-44) were the picks of the bowlers with Swardeston in a strong position at the halfway stage.


That position of strength grew considerably with opening batsman Jordan Taylor at the crease, but not before namesake Callum was dismissed for eight with the score 15-1.


From then on Tayor and new batsman, Alfie Cooper, put on 75 before the fall of the next wicket - crucially not the wicket of Taylor.


With Cooper dismissed for 22, wicketkeeper Stephen Gray came to the crease and the pair put on another partnership of 70-plus to see the game out.


Taylor (left) had continued to dominate, striking 12 fours as he fell just short of a magnificent century in the final.


The winning runs were scored halfway through the 43rd over as Swardeston wrapped up a dominant display in the final to claim the EAPL Cup.


Led by captain Dan Heath, Sawston & Babraham's achievements and progress in 2020 can not be underestimated, despite not having their names engraved on the cup.


Not many would have predicted such a stellar run in the group stages of the competition, propelling them to top spot in the south group.


We have been treated to a snapshot of their capability in this truncated season, the challenge will be trying to replicate that in an official East Anglian Premier League campaign over the course of a whole summer.


For Swardeston, yet another trophy, their third in two years. Adding to the victories in the Vitality Club Twenty20 and the Royal London Club Championship in 2019.


And despite the storm that is currently passing through the world, there was something rather normal about the final on Sunday, a familiar routine... Swardeston the dominant force once again.


To view the final 2020 group tables, CLICK HERE, and for a full run-through of the seasons' results, CLICK HERE.


The EAPL would also like to place on record it's sincere thanks to everyone who donated or helped raise funds for the 'Thanks to NHS and Key Workers day'. If you haven't yet donated, CLICK HERE to do so.