MATCH REPORT: Diamonds v Thunder – Diamonds Heist at Headingley

Katya Witney at Headingley

The Northern Diamonds fought back to pull off an important victory against the Thunder at Headingley on Sunday and keep their finals day hopes alive.

Both sides went into the match on level points, well behind the Southern Vipers in group one and looking to bounce back after suffering defeats in the previous round of fixtures.

After electing to bat, Beth Heath and Sterre Kalis made a steady start for the Diamonds before Heath was dismissed for 13 by Emma Lamb in the fourth over.

Kalis looked and kept advancing down the pitch to advance the scoring rate but was unable to get the big shot away. At the halfway stage the Diamonds were 58-1.

Alex Hartley found the breakthrough in the 11th over, dismissing Kalis for 28 and Holly Armitage was clean bowled by Lamb after missing a sweep shot in the following over.

Phoebe Turner took centre stage in the 15th over to dismiss Leah Dobson and Leigh Kasperek in consecutive deliveries. The hattrick ball went straight through Abi Glen, missing the stumps and the keeper to run away to the boundary leaving the Diamonds 85-5 going into the final five.

Hannah Jones executed a smart throw from the boundary to run out Glen in the next over and after hitting three consecutive fours Lindsay Smith was dismissed by Hartley in the 17th.

The last over completed the collapse for the Diamonds, Jones taking the wickets of Turner, Marlow and Levick – all bowled – off the final four balls of the innings. From 78-3 in the 15th over, the Diamonds had collapsed to 124 all out, the Thunder spinners taking seven wickets between them and Lamb as ever bowling with control and picking up a couple of wickets.

Lamb and Boyce began the chase for the Thunder, and both looked in good touch as ever. By the fourth over they had reached 31-0 before, completely against the run of play, Boyce chipped a ball to Smith at cover and had to depart for 16.

Disaster struck for the Thunder in the seventh over as Lamb was run out for 15 thanks to a great throw from Dobson at deep midwicket and after looking untroubled in their respective innings both of the Thunder’s openers were back in the hutch.

Threlkeld was bowled by Katie Levick in the ninth over and was quickly followed by Shachi Pai, also dismissed by Levick for a two-ball duck prompting jubilant celebrations from the Diamond fielders. The home-side looked boosted by the breakthroughs and determined to capitalise.

Kasperek gave her team more reason to believe in the following over, dismissing Laura Jackson for a duck and reducing the Thunder to 52-5 still needing 73 to win at the halfway stage of the innings.

Collins and Marshall looked to rebuild during the middle overs, steadily consolidating a partnership of 25 by the end of the 14th over to give Thunder some hope.

Kasperek dismissed Collins in a bizarre manner in the following over. An edge popped straight up gently off the bat and keeper Heath dove forwards to catch the ball right at Collins’ feat, leaving her standing at the crease questioning whether the ball had been caught while her opponents celebrated around her.

Marshall was run out shortly after for 11 and Graham was bowled by Marlow in the following over. The wheels were well and truly off for the Thunder at 82-8.

Graham was bowled for 20 by Levick in the 19th over and Jones was run out the following ball to round-up proceedings and with the Thunder 99 all-out.

Speaking after the match Lee Kasperek said:

“Whatever runs you get you have to think that it’s good enough. Dani gave us a good pep talk at the interval, as well as Holly and just kind of, you know, tried to fire us up a little bit.”

“Usually coming in bowling in England’s not necessarily that much fun, so today was an absolute treat on a slightly slower pitch.”

“It’s awesome to have experience in the camp and we love playing at Headingley, there are pretty amazing facilities and stuff so it’s been awesome, and we got to train here yesterday.”

“We’ve got the day off tomorrow and then we’ll head up to Durham for the Lightning match and it’s a do or die situation, we’ve got to bring our best performance. I think we’ve just got to take it one game at a time and just look to Durham. We don’t want to look too far ahead and yeah, just give it our all.”

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PREVIEW: Dumfries and Galloway Looking to Build on Strong Start in Scotland’s WPL

By Jake Perry

After an opening weekend which underlined just how competitive the season is likely to be, round two of the Women’s Premier League pits two of the early pace-setters against each other at Hamilton Crescent. West of Scotland go into their game against Dumfries and Galloway on the back of a stunning result at Grange Loan, where despite Abbi Aitken-Drummond’s run-a-ball 70, an opening partnership of 126 between Ellen Watson (81) and Nayma Shaikh (44) and two wickets apiece for Anne Sturgess, Nadia Tolliday and Nayma Shaikh set up a two-run win over reigning champions Carlton. 

Their upcoming opponents, however, were just as impressive in sweeping aside RH Corstorphine by nine wickets at Nunholm. Spinning all-rounder Roshini Prince-Navaratnam took 4 for 26 then scored an unbeaten half-century as the home side chased down its target of 96 with more than thirteen overs to spare: for opening bowler Orla Montgomery, it should be a hotly-contested battle in Partick.

“It’s definitely going to be a tough one, especially as we have a few changes to our team,” she said. “We don’t have Hannah Rainey, Hannah Marshall or Roshini available, although we do have Lorna Jack to come back in.”

“So it’ll be a challenge for sure, but we’re hoping to get some early wickets and see where we go from there.”

The addition of Scotland pacer Rainey, now qualified as a vet and working in Cumbria, has made the Dumfries and Galloway attack a particularly potent one. Alongside Prince-Navaratnam, Hannah Marshall took 3 for 11 – all bowled – in her six overs: with fellow seamers Rosy Ryan and Niamh Muir playing important roles, too, Orla is pleased with the balance of the team.    

“Rosh and Hannah have just moved into the area from England,” she said, “and it was an excellent debut for both of them. It’s great to have Hannah Rainey with us, too, to be able to open up with pace from both ends then slow things down with a bit of spin from Rosh: it worked really well.”

“It was a great performance to get us started. We had a strong team, and it was good to get our season going with a win.”

Seventeen-year-old Orla is looking to impress as part of the Scotland set-up, too, having been named as a non-travelling reserve for national side’s recent trip to Malaysia for the Commonwealth Games qualifier. With the Global Qualifier for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup coming up at the end of the year, the fast bowler is keen to do all she can to keep her name in the frame. 

“We have training on Saturdays up in Dollar at the moment, and then I’m doing gym sessions down here as well as lots of bowling out in the middle, trying to get as much in as possible,” she said. “I’m definitely hoping to get into the travelling squad this time: I’m not really wanting to be a non-travelling reserve again, although that was a real honour being selected for it last time.”

“But my aim is to try and get into the main squad itself if I possibly can.”

Elsewhere on Sunday, Northern Lights play their first home fixture at Mannofield, a week after hundreds from Becky Glen and Megan McColl and an unbeaten 65 from Emma Halliwell took them to a record 334/3 at The Grange. The other victors of last weekend, Stewart’s Melville, travel to RHC after a dominant display with the ball, Iris Conlin taking 3 for 7, Izzy Armstrong 2 for 4 and Erin Bridle 2 for 15 in their seven-wicket victory over Watsonians. With four statement wins last weekend – and a wounded Carlton that will be determined to get their title challenge straight back on course – it promises to be a fascinating round of matches once again.

Women’s Premier League – 29 May 2022

McCrea FS West of Scotland v Dumfries CC/Galloway CC (at Hamilton Crescent)

RH Corstorphine v Stewart’s Melville (at Royal High School)

Carlton v Grange (at Grange Loan)

Northern Lights v Watsonians (at Mannofield)

Follow Jake Perry on Twitter

PREVIEW: Northern Lights Ready To Shine As Scotland’s Women’s Premier League Begins

By Jake Perry

There is a new force to reckon with in the Women’s Premier League this year, with the Aberdeen-based Northern Lights making their debut in what promises to be the most hotly contested competition to date. With Watsonians and Grange now playing as separate entities and plenty of input from national and regional players, the eight-team division marks another important point in the upward trajectory of the domestic women’s game in Scotland.

Northern Lights skipper Megan McColl is in no doubt as to the significance of the moment.

“We’re really excited about having a team representing the clubs from the north,” she said. “It’s a big step forward and we’re going to enjoy playing our first game on Sunday.”

“Having the teams from Edinburgh and Glasgow come up to play cricket here is really important for the women and girls’ game in Scotland. Hopefully the Northern Lights will be the first of many more sides in the future.”

Last year saw virtually all of Scotland’s national players aligned with a WPL club – the only exceptions being Lightning’s Bryce sisters – but the addition of the Lights will make life considerably easier for those based north of the central belt.

“It was good to get involved in women’s cricket first and foremost, having only played men’s club cricket for Arbroath before,” said Megan, who scored 115 runs and took seven wickets in her three games for Watsonians/Grange. “It was great to play and see the different standards of the teams, but to have something in the north now is really good.”

“Along with myself we have Becky Glen, Abbie Hogg and Ailsa Lister [from the national set-up], as well as my sister Kirsty McColl and [Falkland’s] Emma Halliwell who are both part of the Scotland Under-19s. There’s also Zoe Baillie from Forfarshire, who is part of the emerging [group]. So we’ve got a good few Scotland players and up and coming Scotland players which will hopefully be good for our chances.”

While Carlton is again likely to be the team to beat – the depth and bedded-in structure of last season’s double-winners has enabled them to put out a women’s second XI this year – 2018 and ’19 champions Stewart’s Melville will also be amongst the favourites for both league and cup. West of Scotland, Dumfries & Galloway and RH Corstorphine also produced some excellent cricket over the course of the last campaign, as did Watsonians/Grange, who finished third in the final table. Watsonians will be the first to visit Mannofield next Sunday: before then, however, the league’s newest side is looking forward to a trip to a similarly iconic venue.

“It’ll be great to start our season at The Grange this weekend,” said Megan. “It’ll be the first time I’ve actually played there.”

“Hopefully we can make a good start, and come away with a win.”

Women’s Premier League – 22 May 2022

Grange v Northern Lights (at Portgower Place)

Carlton v McCrea FS West of Scotland (at Grange Loan)

Stewart’s Melville v Watsonians (at Inverleith)

Dumfries CC/Galloway CC v RH Corstorphine (at Nunholm)

Follow Jake Perry on Twitter

MATCH REPORT: Diamonds v Lightning – Winfield-Hill Wins It For Diamonds

Katya Witney at Loughborough

Haslegrave felt more like the Caribbean on Saturday as the North Group of the Charlotte Edwards Cup kicked off in stunning style with the star-studded Lightning and Northern Diamonds teams going head to head.

After the Northern Diamonds won the toss and elected to bat, spectators were treated to a destructive display from Lauren Winfield-Hill first up. She got off the mark straight away with an elegant flick off her pads into the leg-side and followed up with a boundary in the next over. Abigail Glen ably abetted her partner and the fifty came up for the Diamonds before the end of the fifth over.

Glen then departed for 25, looping a catch to Teresa Graves at backward point, leaving Winfield-Hill to take centre stage. The England opener took Kirstie Gordon for consecutive fours before advancing down the wicket to smash the first six of the match. She brought up her fifty off 24 balls and took her side into three figures off the first ball of the 11th over.

As the run rate slowed slightly in the middle overs, Winfield-Hill stepped up a gear, whacking three consecutive maximums in the 14th over to take her into the nineties.

It wasn’t to be a comeback hundred for the opener, however, as she was caught off a top edge on 96 looking to bring up her century in style. She left the field to a standing ovation from the away crowd.

With five overs left in their innings, the Diamonds were 145 for 2 and a big total was on the cards. However a flurry of wickets followed. Lee Kasperek’s debut for the Diamonds with the bat was short-lived as she departed for seven, followed by Rachel Hopkins for a duck in the next over and Beth Langston four balls later.

Armitage batted well to anchor the innings and a four off the final ball brought the total to 177, a tough ask for Lightning but not as tough as it could’ve been when Winfield Hill was in full flow.

Emma Marlow opened the bowling for the Diamonds and immediately made it tough for both openers to score, Tammy Beaumont Beaumont and Marie Kelly only managing a single each off the first over. 

The power-play was sedate by the standards set in the first innings but the Lightning were soon able to settle into the pitch, Rachel Slater conceding three fours down the ground in the fifth over.

By the halfway point, things were looking fairly positive for the Lightning with the openers building a solid platform and the required run-rate hovering at around ten an over. Just as there may have been some slight concern building for the Diamonds, Langston made the breakthrough, bowling Kelly for 46.

Katherine Bryce came to the crease but struggled to get going, only managing four off six before she was clean bowled by Marlow.

Beaumont was the crucial wicket and as the required run rate began to climb, she teed off. She hit Langston for three fours in an over and followed up with a powerful shot over the extra-cover boundary off Kasperek to bring up her fifty.

However, Marlow took the crucial wicket for her side in the 17th over, bowling Beaumont for 59. In a superb display from the young off-spinner, she finished with figures of 2-12 off her four overs.

With Beaumont back in the dug-out, the result was pretty much decided. Munro was out in the next over and Linsey Smith took two wickets in the final over to leave Lightening well short on 138 for 7.

The day belonged to Winfield-Hill who looked a class above anyone else and will be pleased with her comeback after a difficult winter.

Both sides will be back in action on Wednesday in the next round of fixtures.

Follow @KatyaWitney on Twitter

2022 Charlotte Edwards Cup and Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Preview

The structure of the domestic season is still in flux after a) a global pandemic and b) the move from county to regional teams, but this year may be the first time we see the beginnings of a formula which future seasons will follow.

The season will begin with the T20 Charlotte Edwards Cup, starting this Saturday 14 May and culminating in a three-team Finals Day at Northampton on Saturday 11 June.

There will be two groups – Vipers, Thunder, Lightning, and Diamonds in one group; and Sparks, Storm, Sunrisers, and Stars in the other.

For the first time, the CE Cup will include a number of double-headers with the men’s Vitality Blast, and we have been promised that one of these will be televised (although there doesn’t seem to be any confirmation about which one it is – let us know if we’ve missed something!)

Then, from 2 July, teams will embark on their Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy campaigns (with a break in the middle for The Hundred), culminating in a Grand Final at Lord’s on Sunday 25 September.

In a reversal of last season, it’s likely that England players will be available for much of the CE Cup, but will miss the RHF Trophy in its entirety, requiring younger players to step up in the 50-over competition.

Which team will come out on top? Who will shine? Read on for our thoughts…

(NB: A full list of regional fixtures can be found here.)


Southern Vipers have dominated regionals since their inception in 2020, winning two RHF Trophies along the way, but they will this be the year that they become a victim of their own success? There’s a good chance they will lose four key players (Bell, Bouchier, Dean and Wyatt) to England for much of the season, and this could open the way for others to challenge them in both formats. Diamonds (or Yorkshire, as they were) have finished 50-over runners-up in for the past 5 seasons, and were also the beaten finalists in last season’s Charlotte Edwards Cup, so we’re tipping them to share the silverware with Vipers this season.


Sunrisers took home that dubious honour last season, and have recently lost a big asset in coach Trevor Griffin. He stepped down suddenly last month, leaving Sunrisers to draft in a replacement at the last minute – Laura Marsh. It remains to be seen how well Marsh will perform in her first Head Coach role, but she’s certainly got her work cut out for her – we think it could be another tricky season for the London-based side, whose squad is not much changed from 2021.


Our pick last season – Grace Scrivens – ended up not quite getting the opportunities she deserved, and being ultimately overshadowed by Alice Capsey; but she’s come into this season looking like she means business, with a string of captain’s knocks for Kent, so we almost went for her again. However, it’s actually another Kent player – Alexa Stonehouse – who we’ve got our eye on for this summer. The 17-year-old left-handed allrounder doesn’t bowl with lightning pace (yet!) but she looks to have good control (a-la Freya Davies) and she’s also been smashing it with the bat at Academy level. She’ll be playing for South East Stars in regionals, but has also been snapped up by Trent Rockets for The Hundred.


We hope Marie Kelly won’t be too offended to be labelled a “golden oldie”, but to be fair, she has been playing senior domestic cricket since 2011! The 26-year-old made a big call at the end of the 2021 season, choosing to leave Central Sparks for Lightning, presumably in the hope of more opportunities with the bat. So far at least it looks to have been a smart move – she’s already smashed 69 from 29 balls in a warm-up against Sunrisers, and is likely to be opening the batting for Lightning come Saturday. If she can carry her pre-season form into the Lottie Cup, it could be a fun few weeks!


Syd: It must be more than 10 years ago now that Don Miles (of fame) first told me about a kid who’d been setting fire to the County Age Group record books down in Sussex – that kid was Paige Scholfield, now coming into her prime aged 26. After a quiet season in 2021, following a back operation that spring, Scholfield looks ready to take on 2022 fitter and stronger than ever – there’s extra zip to her bowling, and more power in her hitting. With so many Vipers players likely to be called up for England duty, this is Scholfield’s chance to shine, and she looks in form to grab the opportunity with both hands.

Raf: Assuming Emma Lamb gets to play a decent amount of cricket for Thunder this season, she is going to be vital to both their campaigns, sitting atop the order and bowling her usual reliable off-spin. She’s just recorded Lancashire’s best ever T20 bowling figures, taking 5 for 5 in the T20 Cup Group 1 Final against Yorkshire as her side lifted the trophy, after earlier hitting 62* from 34 balls in the semi v Notts. The only snag will be if she gets another England call-up (but she probably won’t mind that too much as and when it happens!)


(NB: Some squads had not been fully confirmed at the time of writing.)

Central Sparks: Eve Jones (captain), Emily Arlott, Hannah Baker, Clare Boycott, Thea Brookes, Steph Butler, Ami Campbell, Georgia Davis, Gwenan Davies, Poppy Davies, Ria Fackrell, Abbey Freeborn, Sarah Glenn, Milly Home, Amy Jones, Anisha Patel, Davina Perrin, Grace Potts, Liz Russell, Issy Wong

Lightning: Kathryn Bryce (captain), Grace Ballinger, Tammy Beaumont, Sarah Bryce, Ella Claridge, Piepa Cleary, Bethan Ellis, Kirstie Gordon, Josie Groves, Teresa Graves, Beth Harmer, Lucy Higham, Marie Kelly, Michaela Kirk, Sophie Munro, Katie Midwood, Alicia Presland, Lenny Sims

Northern Diamonds: Hollie Armitage (captain), Katherine Brunt, Leah Dobson, Yvonne Graves, Jenny Gunn, Bess Heath, Rachel Hopkins, Sterre Kalis, Leigh Kasperek, Beth Langston, Katie Levick, Emma Marlow, Nat Sciver, Rachel Slater, Linsey Smith, Phoebe Turner, Lauren Winfield-Hill

South East Stars: Bryony Smith (captain), Chloe Brewer, Alice Capsey, Kira Chathli, Claudie Cooper, Aylish Cranstone, Alice Davidson-Richards, Freya Davies, Sophia Dunkley, Tash Farrant, Phoebe Franklin, Grace Gibbs, Eva Gray, Dani Gregory, Emma Jones, Ryana Macdonald-Gay, Kalea Moore, Rhianna Southby, Alexa Stonehouse, Kirstie White

Southern Vipers: Georgia Adams (captain), Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Charlie Dean, Georgia Elwiss, Nancy Harman, Chloe Hill, Freya Kemp, Ella McCaughan, Alice Monaghan, Tara Norris, Carla Rudd, Paige Scholfield, Anya Shrubsole, Charlotte Taylor, Emily Windsor, Danni Wyatt

Sunrisers: Kelly Castle (captain), Amara Carr, Kate Coppack, Naomi Dattani, Jo Gardner, Gaya Gole, Cordelia Griffith, Lissy Macleod, Abtaha Maqsood, Sonali Patel, Mia Rogers, Grace Scrivens, Katherine Speed, Mady Villiers

Thunder: Ellie Threlkeld (captain), Georgie Boyce, Nat Brown, Alice Clarke, Danielle Collins, Kate Cross, Rebecca Duckworth, Alice Dyson, Sophie Ecclestone, Phoebe Graham, Alex Hartley, Liberty Heap, Laura Jackson, Hannah Jones, Emma Lamb, Laura Marshall, Daisy Mullan, Shachi Pai, Seren Smale, Sophia Turner

Western Storm: Sophie Luff (captain), Emma Corney, Emily Edgcombe, Lauren Filer, Katie George, Danielle Gibson, Alex Griffiths, Georgia Hennessy, Niamh Holland, Steph Hutchins, Heather Knight, Fi Morris, Claire Nicholas, Lauren Parfitt, Nat Wraith

MATCH REPORT: Yorkshire v Lancashire – Jobs For The Boyce

Katya Witney at Weetwood 

Winning her second toss of the day, Langston again elected to bat in the much-anticipated roses match.

Elise Good showed her intent immediately opening the batting, hitting Nat Brown over her head to get the scoreboard ticking in the first over. Hannah Buck scored the first boundary of the innings, tickling Brown off her hip and down to the fine-leg boundary.

However, Phoebe Graham halted the opener’s advances, sending the ball crashing into Buck’s stumps as the right-hander looked for an expansive drive.

After being dismissed off the third ball she faced in the morning game, Armitage looked in the mood to score, driving her first ball aerially down to the boundary.

Good departed in Alex Hartley’s first over, chipping a catch to Sophia Turner at short mid-wicket who took it well jumping to her left. Yorkshire ended the powerplay at 20 for 2.

Armitage continued to advance the run rate, scoring a boundary down to long-on off Emma Lamb’s first delivery. Phoebe Turner matched her energy, lofting Hartley over her head in the 7th over for another boundary but was out caught attempting to cut the ball to the rope off the last delivery of the over.

Yorkshire reached the halfway stage of the innings on 48 for 3, with a fair platform to build on. However, they had a stroke of luck minutes later as Armitage was dropped on the long-on boundary off a difficult chance.

Langston and Armitage upped the ante in the middle overs, taking their side to 74 for 3 by the end of the 13th, but Armitage was bowled off Hartley’s last delivery, the ball clipping the top of the bails leaving the white roses 88 for 4 going into the final five.

Langston fell shortly afterwards, and Yorkshire were in danger of squandering the platform they had built. Rachel Slater went next, coming down the wicket to Lamb and getting herself in a tangle, Jess Woolston followed her back to the dug-out in the next over.

Yorkshire limped to 109 for 8 at the end of their innings and, considering Lancashire’s total of 174 for 3 on the same pitch that morning, they looked well short.

Indeed, with Georgie Boyce scoring consecutive boundaries off the second and third ball of the innings, fears that Yorkshire did not have enough on the board were well-founded.

A six from Lamb put Lancashire a third of the way to their target by the end of just the third over.

Yorkshire didn’t take their chances either as Boyce was badly dropped at mid-on off the last ball of the fourth over and dropped again shortly after. Boyce then went on to bring up Lancashire’s fifty in the sixth over with back-to-back fours off Rachel Slater.

The white roses dropped Boyce yet again in the seventh over, this time compounded by the fielder tipping the ball over the boundary for six. Boyce brought up her half-century with the following ball.

With her team needing just seven to win in the twelfth over, Lamb chipped the ball in the air, and finally Yorkshire took a catch, an easy chance falling to Woolston. However, the result was now a formality.

Boyce wrapped it up in the following over, sealing the deal somewhat anti-climatically with a leg-by.

It was a statement from Lancashire. Despite riding their luck slightly, they looked the far better side, taking advantage of their regional and international players. They will take some beating on finals day next weekend.

Follow @KatyaWitney on Twitter