Norfolk know they must make full use of their game in hand against Hertfordshire

Professional Tom New should be raring to go at Manor Park on Sunday after scoring his maiden century

Professional Tom New should be raring to go at Manor Park on Sunday after scoring his maiden century for the county against Staffordshire Picture: TIM FERLEY - Credit: Archant

Norfolk go into the second match of their annual Festival of Cricket knowing nothing less than a win will do if they are to retain hopes of challenging for the Minor Counties Championship East Division title.

Chris Brown's side sit seventh in the table, 41 points adrift of top spot, after a frustrating draw in the opening Manor Park fixture against Staffordshire. Lincolnshire (77 points), Staffordshire (76) and Suffolk (76) are currently setting the pace but they have all played one more game than Norfolk.

Beating a Hertfordshire side who are below them in the standings would get the gap down to manageable proportions ahead of the final Festival fixture against Cambrideshire starting on August 19 – so there should be a spring in the step of the home players when the action gets under way at Horsford this Sunday (11am).

'We will be going into the game in good spirits even though the Staffordshire match petered out into a draw,' said Brown. 'The most important thing for me is that we put in a really good performance after being well below our best in the previous game at Suffolk, when we were well beaten.

'That's what you want to see as a captain – everyone did their bit for the team and although we didn't beat Staffordshire we were the ones who played all the cricket.

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'We have an opportunity to close the gap on the teams above us and we'll obviously be going all out for the win against Hertfordshire. There are 24 points up for grabs and if we can take them we'll still have a chance of finishing top with two matches still to play.'

There are two changes to the side from the Staffs game, with opener Jason Reynolds otherwise engaged with Swardeston in the national Twenty20 competition and wicket-keeper Sam Groves unavailable due to work.

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In come Fakenham batsman John Ewart and Horsford left arm spinner Ryan Findlay, with professional Tom New taking duty behind the stumps and Matt Plater being promoted to open alongside Sam Arthurton.

Norfolk: S Arthurton, M Plater, T New (wkt), W Rogers, B France, A Watson, J Ewart, B Stolworthy, R Findlay, C Brown (capt), A Hanby.

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