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First defeat of season for Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 14:00 14 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:48 06 July 2010

Norfolk player/coach Chris Brown was left to rue the one that got away after yesterday's first Minor Counties Championship defeat of the season against Bedfordshire at Bedford School.

Norfolk player/coach Chris Brown was left to rue the one that got away after yesterday's first Minor Counties Championship defeat of the season against Bedfordshire at Bedford School.

Carl Rogers' side were bowled out for 198 in their second innings after being set 244 to win from a minimum 55 overs on a rain-affected final day.

Trevor Ward (86) and Chris Borrett (34) looked well set to guide Norfolk home after tea but former Northants spinner Andy Roberts removed Borrett to spark a second consecutive middle order collapse.

Norfolk lost four wickets for 15 - Rogers again going cheaply to cap a miserable match after his hospital visit on day one for stitches to a hand injury.

Ward appeared immune from the escalating carnage around him as he blazed away - despatching young spinner Tom Brett for 20 in one painful over including a six that threatened a row of parked cars behind the large hospitality tent.

Brett had the final say in their personal duel but Ward's powerful hitting left Norfolk needing 54 runs off the final ten overs with three wickets remaining.

Brett (six for 91) and Roberts (three for 38) squeezed the life out of Norfolk's lower order as runs quickly dried up before the duo spun Beds to a maiden Championship win of the campaign.

“We're hugely disappointed,” admitted Brown. “After tea, Trevor and Chris got us firmly in the box seat. We'd got the run rate down to about four an over and at that stage we looked like we could be winners but once Chris went we lost a procession of wickets and that put us right behind the eight ball.

“Even so, whilst Wardy was still there you felt we had every chance of winning the game but it wasn't to be.

“We we're more than happy with the declaration because we were scoring at six or seven without breaking sweat after tea. It's just a shame we lost Chris when we did because I am convinced we would have won that game.”

Brown refused to write off Norfolk's Championship chances after their first set back of the season ahead of next month's Manor Park double header against Herts and Cambs.

“If we can win our remaining two games at home then you never know,” he said. “If we can get big points in our last two games then I see no reason we can't challenge for honours in the three-day game. It will be tough but you can't give up hope. We just have to put this one down as a bad day, address the areas where we went wrong, and put it right when we play Herts in a couple or so weeks. It doesn't help when you lose wickets like we did in both innings.

“I think we were 140-odd for five or six in the first innings as well but you also have to give them credit. The young left arm spinner has done well but if you look at his figures he has gone for nearly six an over so it shows you we probably did give him a couple of wickets.”

Brown is convinced Norfolk's 45-run defeat will have no bearing on next week's showpiece MCCA Knockout Trophy final against Staffs at Chester-le-Street in Durham.

“All our attention and focus is now on that game but I don't think this will dent the confidence,” he said. “It's a totally different form of the game and the side is different as well. Our lads will be disappointed but we put this one behind us and start to look forward.

“We've just lost our first game from a position we should have gone on and won but we'll come back strong.”

t SCOREBOARD

Minor Counties Championship: Bedfordshire (22pts) beat Norfolk (6pts) by 45 runs at Bedford School

Overnight: Bedfordhire 238 & 129-4, Norfolk 270

t Bedfordshire 2nd innings cont

DS Bendon c Spelman b Brown 41

OJ Clayson not out 65

OJ Swann c Borrett b Brown 54

AR Roberts not out 14

Extras (b3 lb3 w1) 7

Total (for 6 wkts dec, 77 overs) 275

Fall continued: 5-152, 6-231

Bowling: Eccles 17-0-53-0, Thelwell 16-2-48-2, Brown 22-2-77-3, Watson 5-2-18-0, Rogers 57-3-15-0, Borrett 6-2-14-1, Arthurton 2-0-26-0, Ward 2-0-18-0

t Norfolk 2nd innings

JM Spelman lbw b Brett 33

BJ Patston b Sneath 9

TR Ward b Brett 86

CR Borrett st Knott b Roberts 34

SK Gray b Brett 0

CJ Rogers c Swann b Brett 3

SS Arthurton lbw b Roberts 6

AM Watson lbw b Roberts 10

C Brown c Clayson b Brett 8

MP Eccles not out 0

SJ Thelwell c Swann b Brett 0

Extras (b1 lb3 w1 nb4) 9

Total (all out, 53.4overs) 198

Fall: 1-25, 2-62, 3-131-, 4-132, 5-136, 6-146, 7-190, 8-190, 9-198

Bowling: Sneath 7-1-26-1, Griggs 6-3-11-0, Arshad 8-0-28-0, Brett 18.4-3-91-6, Roberts 14-4-38-3

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