Bradshaw has no regrets at declaration

Norfolk skipper Paul Bradshaw insisted his side remain firmly in the Minor Counties Championship hunt after yesterday's four-wicket Manor Park defeat to Northumberland.

Norfolk skipper Paul Bradshaw insisted his side remain firmly in the Minor Counties Championship hunt after yesterday's four-wicket Manor Park defeat to Northumberland.

Ex-first class county stalwart Mark Symington and Graham Bridge guided the visitors home with an over to spare after Norfolk set a tempting 253 to win off 63 overs.

Chris Borrett's inspired 4-32 spell either side of tea - his best championship return for the county - had Northumberland reeling at 133 for six but Symington and Bridge conjured an unbroken 124 stand to inflict an opening festival defeat.

Norfolk host current Eastern Division champions Buckinghamshire next at Manor Park, starting on Sunday, with Bradshaw adamant his side can bounce back.


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"We are still quite confident," he said. "If we can pick up full points from our next home game I think we can go top.

"I would probably have taken that position after three matches when you consider the first one was a total wash out.

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"Hopefully Bucks having won it last year will come here ready to play positive cricket.

"We've had a win and a loss now but a defeat with a lot of plusses in the way we controlled the game."

Bradshaw defended Norfolk's attempt to force a result after big- hitting cameos from Carl Amos and Trevor Ward helped his men declare their second innings on 211 for 4.

"I'd rather play positive cricket, end up winning three and losing three than drawing six," he said.

"We could have stayed out there for another five or ten overs to bat them out of the game, but that would've been worth only three more points."

"I felt we'd controlled the first three innings.

You have to be prepared to lose in order to win sometimes. We thought it was worth the risk to keep them in the game and eight out of 10 times we'd have gone on to win. Around tea we had a great period when Chris Borrett bowled really well and Browny was doing what he does.

"We looked favourites but they had two very experienced guys who have played first class cricket and it showed.

"Obviously we are very disappointed after being in the box seat when we had them six down. They played exceptionally well. It was more a case of them winning the game rather than we lost it."

Ward celebrated his county cap with another stylish half-century after his 107 in Norfolk's first innings to help engineer a mid-afternoon declaration.

Bradshaw removed Alistair Maiden in a hostile opening over but a second wicket 99 run stand stalled Norfolk's charge as the game appeared to be meandering to a tame draw.

Borrett castled Paul Muchall to signal a Northumberland collapse at tea - five wickets tumbling for 31.

First innings centurion Ian Pattison departed cheaply to leave Norfolk requiring four wickets off the remaining 29 overs.

Symington's watchful start nudged the visitors past 150 before the seventh-wicket pair accelerated through the gears - Northumberland 200 posted just eight overs later.

Bridge notched his half-century during the carnage and launched Brown over long-off to seal the win in the penultimate over.

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