Longridge Women season review
A wet summer meant games were a struggle but read on to find out about the games that were completed
After 12 months of hoping, planning, persuading and training July 12th saw a women’s team become a reality when they played their first game at home against Rawtenstall. The team had been entered into the newly formed Lancashire Women’s Cricket Development League. Ideally the games would be 20 overs per innings, with 11 players a side although the league rules allowed this to drop to a minimum of 8 prior agreement between team.
It was well worth the wait, with the team marking this first match with a convincing win by 103 runs. There were some notable personal performances too, with Nicola Wilcox registering Longridge Cricket Club’s first century of the season, finishing 101 not out as the team posted a total of 174. The great start with the bat was then followed up when Hannah Nagla struck with the very first ball of the Rawtenstall reply. The bowling was perhaps best described as erratic, with, on the down side wides contributing two thirds of Rawtenstall’s 71 runs. On the up side 5 of the 8 wickets to fall were bowled.
A week later Fylde was the venue for the team’s first away trip. This proved to be a bit of a leveller when they suffered a 10 wicket loss. Again Nicola Wilcox was the headline with the bat scoring 39 not out. The number of wides bowled was down but unfortunately so was the number of wickets. Zoe Simpson was the pick of bowlers finishing with figures of 3.3 over for just 7 runs.
The winning feeling returned in the next game when Lancaster visited Longridge. Bowling first for the first time Lancaster were held to 74 from their 20 overs, Hannah Nagla retuning the impressive figures of 4 overs 1 maiden 5 runs 1 wicket. All the bowlers performed commendably although the number of wides bowled indicated further practice was required. In reply Longridge reached the target of 75 in just 12 and a half overs. Again Wilcox was the top scorer with 31, losing her wicket for the first time in the season, run out.
The cycle of win lose continued in the game at Read when despite 20 from opening bat Emma Simpson the team were bowled out for 48. With such a small target to defend it was never going to be easy. It was Emma who also proved to be the pick of the bowlers taking 2 wickets for 12 runs from her 4 overs. Having said that, in the circumstances all the bowlers could be content with the figures they finished with.
Lancaster were the first team to contest a return fixture, as Rawtenstall had pulled out of the league following their opening match mauling at the hands of Longridge. Rosanna Jackson proved to be the main threat with the ball, taking 3 wickets for only 8 runs in 4 overs. Emma Simpson also took 3 wickets, as Lancaster were dismissed for 49. Emma continued her run of all-round performances, with 25 not out in a 9 wicket win.
The final game of the season was reduced to 16 overs per innings to make allowance for the shorter nights in early September. Read were the opposition for this last game, and having won the toss elected to bat first. A notable first in this match was achieved by Zoe Simpson when she had an appeal for LBW upheld. Amilia McDowell did well to take a throw from the outfield to affect a run out showing signs of increased awareness and confidence in her role as wicket keeper. Read posted a total of 96 from their 16 overs. Emma Simpson & Nicola Wilcox set about chasing this down in busy fashion, although Emma was dismissed in the second over with the score on 9. Nicola Wilcox was the mainstay of the Longridge batting finishing with 34 runs, which included a 6 pulled over mid wicket. While Longridge were disappointed to be dismissed for 48, there were encouraging signs in that defensively the batters looked reasonably well organised, with work to be done before next season on developing on this starting point to increase scoring options.
There are a number of players who have not been named in the above summary of the matches played and it would be wrong not to acknowledge their contributions, so here is a full list of the squad used by the women’s team in their inaugural campaign:
They must be congratulated for their pioneering efforts this year and hopefully they’ll all be back next year, possibly with a friend or two to boost numbers still further.
Roger Kaye (Longridge CC)
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