Frinton defied the odds with a final stunning home win against 5 times league and national T20 champions Swardeston. With Swardeston having already convincingly won the league and Frinton placed mid table the game was played more for pride than points and the Ashlyns Road support was treated to a peach of a match.
Skipper Kyran Young won the toss and asked the visitors to bat having one eye on the rain which was predicted but failed to arrive. Swardeston shuffled their batting order to give some of their lower order bats some time at the crease and Frinton’s Dan Carter and Mervyn Westfield were quick to take advantage. With 16 year old spinner Harry Nightingale contributing 3 wickets the visitors found themselves at a less than satisfactory 135 for 6. However with former Sussex & Hants all-rounder Joe Gatting batting at 8 the game began to turn in favour of Swardeston as Gatting hit a lightning fast 79 from 41 balls to bring his total season’s runs for his Club to over 2000. With Peter Lambert hitting an unbeaten 50 the other end the visitors moved to 293 for 7 and declared shortly after Young had removed Gatting who was caught by Johnny Hambrook.
With Mike Griggs, Murray Commins & Matt Foakes unavailable for the match the Frinton batting line up was much changed with Michael Armstrong and New Zealander Jamie Holmes (covering for Commins) opening. They put on a solid 67 until Armstrong was bowled for 33 by Michael Eccles. Holmes was then joined by wicket-keeper Tom Benn in a 43 run partnership until Holmes was judged LBW for 65 whilst a long way forward to Lambert. Westfield then added 36 before being caught by Gatting but the Frinton top order had by then created a strong platform at 174 for 3. With Tom Benn holding firm with a determined unbeaten 82 it fell to Young (24) David Brent (22) & Hambrook (10) to take the team within 18 runs of victory. As the notoriously frail Frinton tail lost wickets around him Benn held his nerve and used his head to take strike as much as possible. It fell to Carter to hit a winning boundary to see the hosts notch up a memorable home win.
Skipper Young was full of praise for his team and for the sportsmanship of the visitors ‘Swardeston have one eye on their national club championship final next weekend so were using this as practice but our boys rose to the challenge. It was a sporting declaration but they obviously backed themselves to get us out for less than 294. They probably underestimated our top order who set the game up for us and then Tom Benn who stuck his hand up to seal the game for us. It was a great game to play in and I know our supporters really enjoyed it so it’s to them we dedicate this win’.
Frinton finished a respectable 6th in their second season in the EAPL.