Swanton Morley club is confident

Swanton Morley chairman George Northall insists the club still have a bright future despite facing the prospect of withdrawing their second team from league action, writes Philip Banyard.

The club have been unable to raise sides for their last two second XI fixtures in West Norfolk League Division Four and under the league's 'three strikes' rule face dropping out of the competition for the remainder of the season.

Northall said that the club had lost several players because of work commitments at the start of the season and further departures since then had left them unable to fill two sides.

'What you have to remember is that it was only two years ago that we started putting two teams out on a Saturday because we had youngsters not getting a game,' he said. 'So really we are just stepping back a couple of years and I'm quite happy about the way things are going forward.

'I'm quite certain that next year we will be able to put two teams out on a Saturday again.'

Recent developments have cast a shadow over what should have been an exciting year for the club, with the completion of their new �184,000 pavilion.

Northall added: 'It is a bit disappointing, but I am conscious of the fact that the facilities we have got now at the club will enable us to move forward. The rest of the club is going well, particularly the youth cricket where we have 50 members.

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'We wish the guys who have left well, but the ones who are left are quite happy to carry on and four players have even said they will come back to the club next year. So really it's a case of soldiering on until the end of the season, but obviously it has put a bit of a dampener on things.'

Nathan Raines has taken on the captaincy for the rest of the season, with Nick Richer as vice-captain.

On Saturday, Swanton Morley secured their place in Division One with a two-wicket win over The Creakes.

The feeder leagues have already suffered a string of withdrawals this season, with reigning West Norfolk League champions Grimston pulling out, along with Heacham A in Division Five. The Norfolk League has seen the demise of Watton and Shipdham A.