Rain delays Norfolk bid

Norfolk's crucial final match in the Eastern Division of the Minor Counties Championship was unable to make a prompt start at Walsall CC this morning. Persistent drizzle greeted players, officials and spectators on arrival at the Gorway ground with a large travelling contingent from Norfolk hoping to see the visitors begin their quest for a third Eastern Division title in 11 years.

A frustrating day for Norfolk cricket at Walsall was finally ended shortly before 4pm when their final Minor Counties Eastern Divisional Championship match against Staffordshire was abandoned for the day.

With a lead of six points over Cambridgeshire going into the final round of matches, Norfolk's players, officials and supporters were in confident mood at the beginning of the day and announced an unchanged side from the one that had ended the Norfolk Festival in good heart following impressive victories over Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

Persistent heavy drizzle meant that a prompt start was always going to be unlikely but after an hour-and-a-half's delay, Norfolk captain Paul Bradshaw won an important toss and asked Staffordshire to bat and play began at 12.30pm.

Sadly the let-up in the weather proved all too brief and just eight minutes later after a two-over burst of cricket during which the home side had scored two without loss, the drizzle returned and the players retreated to the sanctuary of the pavilion.

An early lunch was taken but as the weather worsened it soon became apparent that there was little likelihood of a resumption and shortly before 4pm the inevitable abandonment of the day was announced.

With no play possible for either of Norfolk's title rivals Cambridgeshire and Suffolk at Cumberland and Lincoln respectively, no serious damage to their title prospects has been suffered and the weather forecast for Monday looks to hold out much more hope of some cricket.