NEWS: Dunkley, Gordon & Linsey Smith In For England

KSL break-outs Sophia Dunkley, Kirstie Gordon and Linsey Smith have been called up to the England squad for the Women’s World T20 in the West Indies next month. All are selected on form but the inclusion of three debutantes in the 15-player squad is nevertheless a massive surprise for a major tournament, and a departure from England’s usual policy of safety first, with big names and World Cup winners axed to make way for the new faces.

Middle-order batsman Sophia Dunkley won the County T20 Cup this season with Middlesex, after having had an outstanding winter with the England Academy; and then followed that up by impressing in the opening round of the Kia Super League for Surrey Stars – scoring 66 off 43 balls versus the Vipers at Guildford.

Kirstie Gordon – a left-arm orthodox spinner – is a former Scotland player from Aberdeenshire, who made the decision 2 years ago to pursue her cricketing career in England when she accepted a place at Loughborough University. She was the leading wicket-taker in both the Women’s County Championship for Notts and the KSL for Loughborough Lightning this year.

Linsey Smith – another left-armer – also had a good KSL season. One of the leading wicket-takers in KSL01 for the Vipers, despite only being drafted in late as an injury replacement, this year Smith transferred to the Lightning, where she took 11 wickets at an Economy Rate of 6.4.

The only other semi-surprise in the squad is Tash Farrant, who has made a swifter recovery than might initially have been expected from the broken collar-bone she sustained fielding in a KSL match at Loughborough this summer – she makes the squad as fast bowling cover for Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole.

Missing out are World Cup winners Alex Hartley, Laura Marsh and Fran Wilson, as well as all three of England’s 2017 debutantes – Alice Davidson-Richards, Katie George and Bryony Smith; plus four others from the contracted squad – Georgia Elwiss, Kate Cross, Freya Davies and Beth Langston.

With Sarah Taylor not travelling to the West Indies, Amy Jones will take the gloves for England, with Tammy Beaumont as backup.

Possible 1st Choice XI

  1. Danni Wyatt
  2. Tammy Beaumont
  3. Amy Jones (wk)
  4. Nat Sciver
  5. Heather Knight
  6. Lauren Winfield
  7. Katherine Brunt
  8. Dani Hazell
  9. Anya Shrubsole
  10. Sophie Ecclestone
  11. Kirstie Gordon

Full Squad

  • Heather Knight
  • Tammy Beaumont
  • Katherine Brunt
  • Sophia Dunkley
  • Sophie Ecclestone
  • Tash Farrant
  • Kirstie Gordon
  • Jenny Gunn
  • Dani Hazell
  • Amy Jones
  • Nat Sciver
  • Linsey Smith
  • Anya Shrubsole
  • Lauren Winfield
  • Danni Wyatt
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NEWS: 2018 Cheshire Women’s Cricket League Awards & Wrap-Up

Martin Saxon Reports

TEAM HONOURS

WINNERS RUNNERS-UP
Division 1 (League Championship) Oakmere Appleton
Division 2 Stockport Trinity Leigh
Division 3 West Upton Nantwich
Division 3 East Appleton 2nd XI Woodley
T20 Divisional Competition Appleton Tigers* Stockport Trinity Fire*
Knockout Cup Appleton Tigers Stockport Trinity Fire
Development Knockout Cup Upton Nantwich Vipers

* Both clubs awarded trophies as winners of the respective Western and Eastern Divisions

Other Team Award

Tea Cup (Best matchday catering): Ashton-on-Mersey

Oakmere retained the Cheshire Women’s League Championship after losing just one league match. Curiously, their only reverse came in a cross-divisional fixture against second division Stockport Trinity – Oakmere were victorious in all matches against teams in their own division. Appleton maintained a strong challenge for a long time and hit the top spot as late as early August, but crucially they then lost to Oakmere for the second time. Ultimately though it was Oakmere who prevailed thanks to their wealth of bowling options and their ever-reliable key batters. Many of Oakmere’s wins were by large margins, and their second win over Chester Boughton Hall in early September was perhaps their most eye-catching performance, however Oakmere also had to rely on their winning knack in other closer fixtures, such as their first games against both Chester and runners-up Appleton.

Stockport Trinity were convincing winners of the second division and will be back in the top flight in 2019. Their dominance was such that not only did they have little difficulty with the opposition from their own division, they also won their cross-divisional fixture against division one champions Oakmere. Their only defeat came against Appleton on the final day, when the trophy had long since been secured. After a difficult start, Leigh finished strongly to finish second, in a season where all the sides in this division, bar Trinity, appeared to be fairly evenly matched.

Upton won Division Three West, ahead of Nantwich. In what was their first season of competitive cricket for both, the two clubs can look back with pride on what they achieved. Both clubs scored convincing wins on the opening day and went on to dominate this division throughout. However, thanks to two wins over Nantwich by margins of six runs and three wickets, it was Upton who finished in top spot.
Fielding a second team for the first time, Appleton’s second string held off Woodley’s challenge to finish as champions of Division Three East. Appleton did the league double over Woodley, but Woodley remained in contention until the very end, given that they beat Upton and Nantwich in cross-divisional matches, while Appleton’s seconds were beaten by both of these clubs.

Stockport Trinity and Appleton were undoubtedly the strongest teams in the shorter form of the game this year. The two clubs were unbeaten champions of the Western and Eastern divisions respectively, and also progressed largely untroubled through the Knockout Cup, although Trinity were pushed all the way by Didsbury in the semi-final. This all meant that Appleton and Trinity would meet twice on Finals Day, and it was Appleton who prevailed on both occasions – by margins of four and eight wickets – and who went home with both the Knockout Cup and the T20 Divisional trophy.

Upton and Nantwich not only dominated Division Three West, but also made it through to the final of the Development Knockout Cup, the cup competition for Division Three clubs. Upton beat their rivals once again, this time by 17 runs, to complete their own double.

INDIVIDUAL HONOURS

BATTING AWARD (MOST RUNS) BOWLING AWARD (MOST WICKETS) FIELDING AWARD (MOST CATCHES & RUN OUTS AS OUTFIELDER) WICKETKEEPING AWARD (MOST CATCHES & STUMPINGS AS WICKETKEEPER)
DIVISION 1 Emma Barlow (Appleton) 438 runs Lorna Starkey (Chester Boughton Hall) 22 wickets Emma Barlow (Appleton) 9 dismissals Eloise Jackson (Appleton) 6 dismissals
DIVISION 2 Megan Cureton (Oxton) 298 Liv Bell (Stockport Georgians) 17 Megan Cureton (Oxton) 7 Gaby McKeever (Stockport Trinity) 9
DIVISION 3 WEST Lily Scudder (Upton) 322 Charlie Scudder (Upton) 19 Charlie Scudder (Upton) & Izzi Pearson (Nantwich) 6 Flo Seymour (Nantwich) 3
DIVISION 3 EAST Abby Barlow (Woodley) 287 Georgie Morton (Woodley) 12 Kate Scott-Griffiths (Didsbury 2nd XI) 6 Judith Barnes (Appleton 2nd XI) 5
T20 COMPETITIONS Carys White (Stockport Trinity Fire) 204 Emma Royle (Stockport Trinity Fire) & Nathalie Long (Appleton Tigers) 18 Georgia Heath (Appleton Tigers) 7 Gaby McKeever (Stockport Trinity Fire) 8

Other Individual Awards

Cheshire Women’s County Club Players’ Player of the Year: Kate Coppack
Cheshire Women’s County Club Coach’s Player of the Year: Dawn Prestidge
President’s Award (Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Cricket in Cheshire): Ray Bell (Stockport Georgians)

Emma Barlow had another consistent season at the top of Appleton’s order, and duly won the Division 1 Batting Award for the leading run-scorer for the sixth year in the last 10. She also took home a fielding award, indeed the number of fielding and wicketkeeping awards won by members of the Appleton first and second teams suggests that it was not just their batsmen and bowlers who contributed to their successes this year.

Perhaps the most convincing winner of any of these awards was Lily Scudder, who made five half-centuries and finished with almost twice the runs total of her nearest rival in Division Three West. Her twin sister Charlie won the bowling award in the same division, also with something to spare over the chasing pack.

The following were all league records broken this season:

  • Wickets taken in division 1 (Lorna Starkey, 22)
  • Wickets taken in all competitions (Nathalie Long, 33)
  • Fielding dismissals in league matches (Emma Barlow, 9) – previous record equalled

OTHER SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

Didsbury reached the regional final of the National Club T20 and were only three runs away from a place in the national Finals Day.

The League XI beat MCC for the first time:

MCC 178 (Annie Rashid 3-21, Molly Price 3-33, Liv Bell 2-32)
Cheshire Women’s League XI 179-9 (Carys White 86*, Ali Cutler 26, Roshini Prince-Navaratnam 24)