Team spirit has got Norfolk heading in the right direction

Action from Norfolk's five-wicket win over Lincolnshire at Manoir Park in the group stages of the Un

Action from Norfolk's five-wicket win over Lincolnshire at Manoir Park in the group stages of the Unicorns Knockout Trophy - James Hale cuts. Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Tim Ferley

Maintaining momentum will be a key focus as Norfolk continue their push for the quarter-finals of the Unicorns Knockout Trophy.

The pursuit of a third win on the bounce continues at Northumberland for the Group Three leaders, who travel to Benwell Hill CC in Newcastle for tomorrow's fixture.

It follows a dramatic four-run win at Cambridgeshire on the opening day of the Minor Counties season and a five-wicket victory over Lincolnshire on home turf last weekend.

That success at Manor Park saw Ben France take four for 23 as Lincs were dismissed for 167, before an unbroken sixth-wicket stand of 71 from Ashley Watson and James Hale steered the hosts to safety, having looked vulnerable at 95 for five.

'The partnership of Ashley Watson and Jimmy Hale when we were 90-odd for five, I thought those two did really well,' said skipper Chris Brown, who had to sit the game out with a back spasm.

'They were nice and calm and got us over the line but everyone has contributed well so far and they've really been team performances, which is why we're two from two and top of the group.'

Watson took over as captain for the day but Brown hopes to be back in action on Sunday, as long as he doesn't suffer any adverse reaction when playing for Horsford today.

Norfolk were able to call on the pace of Northamptonshire and England Performance Programme bowler Olly Stone, as he continues his recovery from a back injury.

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'Olly's a great guy,' Brown added.

'He came up through our age group system and as soon as I called him on Saturday night to tell him I was struggling, he had to call his coach and physio, but he was really keen to play for Norfolk.'

Stone is back with Northants now so Norfolk will take 12 on the trip north, with Matt Plater available again and Darren Smith coming in for the unavailable Sam Groves as wicketkeeper.

'I thought we did extremely well in the first game against Cambridgeshire in a tight affair, then last week against Lincolnshire was a bit more comfortable. So if we can keep adding to that then hopefully we can go three from three,' Brown continued.

'The north-east always has very strong leagues and obviously up there they have Durham who play a prominent role in county cricket, so Northumberland always produce strong sides.

'But again we'll be concentrating on what we've got to do and if we can execute our skills then hopefully we can get another good result.'

Norfolk (from): Jordan Taylor, Ben France, Sam Arthurton, Garry Park, Lewis Denmark, Matt Plater, James Hale, Ashley Watson, Chris Brown (C), Brett Stolworthy, Darren Smith (WK), Adam Todd

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