Kent have won a record 8th Women’s County Championship title – seeing off both their closest rivals over the Bank Holiday weekend to crown themselves with a game to spare.
Taking on Yorkshire at Harrogate, Kent were bowled out for 121 off the final ball in a rain-affected game – Fran Wilson and Maxine Blythin joint-top-scoring with 32. It proved 5 too many for Yorkshire, who finished 116-7, Leah Dobson 30* at the end.
This left Kent needing 15 points from their game the next day against Lancashire to make the title mathematically certain, and this they achieved as promising teenage fast bowler Chelsey Rowson took 4-24 to bowl Lancashire out for 161. An undefeated half-century from Fran Wilson then wrapped things up with 6 overs to spare, to send the trophy back to its forever-home in Kent!
Elsewhere, Hampshire picked up their first two wins – Providence Cowdrill taking 4-19 as they defeated Warwickshire, and captain Katie George hitting 80* to see off Notts. Warwickshire also finally got a win on the board – Amy Jones smashing 101* off 96 balls to defeat Surrey – completing a sorry weekend for Surrey, who also lost to Notts despite a run-a-ball hundred from Bryony Smith.
Meanwhile England fans will be delighted to see that Sarah Taylor made her return for Sussex, after missing most of the season through injury; though it didn’t help them much as they failed with the bat yet again versus Yorkshire – bowled out for 139. Sussex did get a win against Lancashire, thanks to Nancy Harman who took 4-19 as Lancs failed to chase 135 in a rain-reduced match at Kate Cross’s home club ground – Heywood CC.
Enjoying a weekend , albeit rainy, in the North I was able to take in the Yorkshire, Lancashire and Kent matches. Both closely fought games with notable, gritty performances from the England players young and slightly older! They were well complimented by the lesser known names in all three counties. The passion for success was easy to see across all of the teams. The Kent side ending up victorious in both games to win their 8th title, but it was not easy. From looking at all three teams Kent did show those hidden skills in cricket, namely camaraderie and togetherness. So did Yorkshire and Lancashire to a slightly lesser degree, but with Kent when one person failed, for whatever reason, someone else would give a cameo, be it a good catch, good spell of bowling, or 12-15 runs in a partnership to help them out of sticky moments. Kent had few of them throughout their games too!
It is a shame these double weekend and county matches are to be ditched at the end of the season , or are they? Who really knows what will be in its place next season.
Players, parents, friends and manager/coaches travelling county to county, often at their own expense will be sadly missed.
This aspect in itself helps to build that togetherness for all players at 30+ or 16 years of age whatever level of experience, all mixing together for that weekend.
The pride and desire of playing for THEIR COUNTY……what next?
Well done “The Horses” (and the gelding) shame our game with them won’t be so significant apart from bragging rights. Bring it on ……..lol.
Great stuff, It’s good to see so many England hopefuls doing well in the Women’s County Championship. I’ve always said, Dunkley is a huge talent. We’re getting inexorably closer to the start of the women’s international summer now, can’t wait!
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