Norfolk won’t be playing for a draw in Minor Counties East title decider
- Credit: Archant
Ashley Watson says Norfolk will be going all out to win their title decider against Staffordshire - even though a draw would be enough for them to finish top.
Following a dream run at Manor Park which saw them win all three matches, Watson's side will head to Longton near Stoke on Sunday week with a 10 point advantage over their only rivals for the Minor Counties East Division title.
A stalemate would play into the visitors' hands, as would plenty of rain, but the Norfolk skipper certainly isn't thinking along those lines as the countdown to the county's biggest game for many years gets under way.
"As is the case with all the games we play we will be going there to win," said Watson, who led from the front at the Festival of Cricket by taking no fewer than 25 wickets.
"We are in a good run of form, confidence is high and we'll be going there with a positive attitude, there's no doubt about that. We have won four of our five games this season and I think we would have won the first one too had it not been for the weather, so we want to continue that run.
"I don't want the game to be affected by rain or anything like that - the aim will be to win the title in style."
Youngsters take title
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Norfolk Under-17s finished the season as champions of the ECB County Championship Division 3B for the second year running.
They recorded wins against Suffolk and Hertfordshire while the games against Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire were drawn.
The Under-17s also won a T20 competition held at Framlingham College, beating Suffolk in the finals. In the ECB U17 County Cup Norfolk finished third behind Hertfordshire and Suffolk.
Notable performances this season included 5-32 from Dan Bint 5-32 against Cambs, 150 not out from Harry Nunn 150 against Suffolk, 142 not out for George Harrad 142 against Hunts and 101 from Harry Williams 101 against Suffolk.
Meanwhile Norfolk Lions won the final match of the Festival of Cricket, beating Bedfordshire Seconds by five wickets. The visitors were dismissed for 172, with Frankie Sutton taking 3-23 and Alfie Cooper 2-26, and an unbeaten 73 from Hudson de Lucchi, including 10 fours and two sixes, then saw Norfolk home.
Norfolk Over-60s suffered a 61-run defeat against Cambridgeshire at North Runcton after being dismissed for 80 in reply to 141-8.
The seconds dismissed table toppers Sussex for 137 at Old Buckenham with Ron Ashdown (3-21) the pick of the bowlers. Norfolk reached their target in the 31st over, Geoff Roper leading them home with an excellent 74.
The 0ver-70s were beaten by Cheshire at Fakenham. Chasing a total of 148-6 the Norfolk innings never got going and it was left to Ian Parkin (26) and Richard Taylor (28) to take the total up to 96.
Bank Holiday action
The finals of the Mid Norfolk Sunday League's Challenge Cup and the Broke Cup competitions take place at Sprowston CC on Monday (1pm starts).
The Challenge Cup Final will be between Ashmanhaugh Wanderers and Hethersett & Tas Valley (umpires Steve Utting and Peter Sadler) while the Broke Cup Final will be between Swardeston CEYMS and Snettisham (umpires Paul Horsfield and Rennie Broughton).
Essex Eagles took on two East Anglian Premier League representative sides under the lights at Chelmsford on Wednesday evening in warm-up games for the Twenty20 Blast - and there was plenty of Norfolk interest.
The women posted 129-2 off their 20 overs with Jade Hoyte making 51 not out, Amy Cubitt 27 not out, Amanda Polley 23 and Emily Woodhouse six.
That was enough for an excellent 13 run win, with Essex finishing on 116-7 (Caitlin Dye 3-0-10-0).
Olivia Williams 3-0-30-0, Woodhouse 3-0-15-1, Cubitt 1-0-14-0, Hoyte 1-0-5-1). Norfolk's Saskia Williams and Natasha Wilson also played.
Andy Hanby, who went wicketless in his three overs, was the sole representative in the men's team who completed a double by chasing down 139-6 in the final for the loss of eight wickets.
There is a big game in the Read Brothers East Anglian Premier League on Saturday, with the top two going head-to-head.
Leaders Frinton visit closest challengers Swardeston with a slender four-point lead and the winners will be firmly in the driving seat with just three games to play after the weekend.
Third-placed Sudbury, who are only 17 points further back, visit Horsford while other games see Great Witchingham visit Cambridge and Vauxhall Mallards travel to Mildenhall.
In the Cecil Amey Norfolk Alliance Fakenham will retain their Premier League title if they win at North Runcton.