Plenty of positives despite defeat for Norfolk in final match
There were plenty of positives for captain Chris Brown to assess despite Norfolk seeing their Minor Counties Championship season end in defeat.
An 125-run loss at Buckinghamshire sees Norfolk finish with one win and three draws from their three-day season but Brown is still looking on the bright side.
“When you are playing a championship game with four lads on debut, and six players missing from the previosu victory against Suffolk you might expect that type of cricket game, but again you can never be too downhearted,” Brown said.
“There were some spirited performances in the game and obviously some positives to take from what was the last game of the season.
“I don’t think we bowled well enough, particularly on the first day. We made the decision to bowl first because the pitch looked quite tacky and green but we didn’t get the ball in the right areas often enough. But we know that and spoke about it after the game and know it is something we need to improve on next season.”
Norfolk started the final day 193 behind despite a second century of the summer from South African professional Garry Park on Monday.
Bucks began the final day’s play on 65 without loss and swung the bat around to declare on 199 for five, with Ben France taking two wickets.
That left the home team with a lead of 327 and much of the day’s play still remaining to bowl Norfolk out.
Debutant David Turner improved on his two-ball duck from the first innings but had to retire after three runs from eight balls after taking a heavy blow to his shoulder.
James Spelman and Park then got the innings moving with a partnership of 32, before Spelman fell for 27, as the first of six wickets taken by Bucks bowler Matt Rance.
Park went for 10 before France and Ash Watson put together a partnership of 45. France fell for 37 and Turner returned but went two balls later without adding to his score.
Ryan Findlay then came to the crease and posed some resistance, starting with a partnership of 25 with Watson, who went for 31.
Brown and Findlay added 44 before the skipper went for six with his side at 160-7 and with defeat closing in. Findlay eventually went for a rapid 53, from 38 balls, and Norfolk were all out for 202, 125 short of their target.
Brown added: “There are two positives at the forefront of my mind. Firstly young Ryan Conroy from Thetford Cricket Club kept very well and improved his footwork and showed good hands throughout the game. For a young lad of 18 or 19 who’s never kept for 90 overs before, who probably only keeps for 50 overs on a Saturday, I thought he did really well and impressed on debut.
“Ryan Findlay also impressed with his batting in the second innings with shots all around the ground. I made the decision to bat him a couple of places higher in the order and he performed very well in that role.”
Staffordshire won the Eastern title, winning four of their matches.