MATCH REPORT: Bath Wanderers Power To Title In National Club Final

A huge hundred from Sophie Luff provided the platform for Bath to put an under-strength Meakins team to the sword in the national club final on Sunday.

Both Bath and Meakins had won their semi-finals convincingly the previous day – against New Farnley and Newport respectively – but Bath ultimately proved far too strong for their opponents in the final, as they finished the weekend with a 235-run victory.

On a beautiful late summer’s day at Kibworth in rural Leicestershire, Luff entered the fray early after Izzy Westbury was caught at slip in the first over. It was as close as Meakins got to being on top all game, though, as Luff – who finished on 152* – quite literally ran them ragged, calling the singles like a drill sergeant on the parade ground.

Anya Shrubsole also contributed a strongly-struck 46 before being hit on the sharp of the elbow by a throw in from the outfield – a quick trip to the local A&E thankfully revealed nothing broken; but she played no further part in the match.

In the end though, Bath – having amassed a mammoth 307-4 across their 50 overs – barely missed her, as Izzy Westbury took 6-7, with only Eve Jones (30) offering much in the way of resistance as Bath powered to the title, bowling Meakins out for 72.

However, there was no shame in defeat for a Meakins side with an average age of just 16, as injuries and unavailabilities took their toll – forcing them to field a number of fledglings.

Sunday’s effort was Luff’s third century in four innings, and Bath captain Jackie Hawker, speaking to CRICKETher after the game, was full of praise for her performances this season:

“She’s been absolutely fantastic. We couldn’t get a better number 3 for Bath. She’s just such a great player – an inspiration.”