Jake Perry reports from Royal High School
Carlton are Women’s Premier League champions after a dramatic final day of the competition played out in Edinburgh. After being bowled out for 106 against Royal High Corstorphine, 5 for 5 from Saskia Aldridge and 3 for 12 from Zaara Dancu turned the tables in style as Annette Aitken-Drummond’s team closed out a 67-run win to take its second title in two years.
“I can’t believe that we’ve won that match,” said the Carlton skipper. “Obviously we were put in to bat first, and I don’t know what it is about this ground but we seem to get very nervous, it’s a bit of a bogey ground, and RHC always put up a good game against us. So I was a little bit panicky that we didn’t have enough runs on the board, but our bowlers have gone out there and done an incredible job: Zaara’s bowled incredibly well, Saskia has come in and bowled amazingly, and I’m a very, very happy captain today.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” Annette continued. “We were competing with a lot of good teams this season and we were missing quite a few players for various reasons, so it’s been a real full-squad effort. It’s just been fantastic to see, especially the youngsters stepping up and doing a job: a really, really great team performance [from] a great squad.”
Second-placed West of Scotland, the only team that could have overhauled Carlton at the top of the table, did all they could against Grange, openers Ellen Watson and Nayma Shaikh polishing off their target of 58 in just 4.5 overs, while Stewart’s Melville secured third with an eight-wicket win over fifth-placed Northern Lights. Dumfries & Galloway finished just behind Stew-Mel in fourth after centuries from Hannah Rainey and Roshini Prince-Navaratnam against Watsonians: D&G’s trip to Hamilton Crescent for the first round of the Beyond Boundaries Scottish Cup on 24 July is already looking a cracker.
And for Carlton, of course, there is now the chance of an unprecedented ‘double-double’.
“We’ve got Watsonians first up, so that’ll be a great game,“ said Annette, “and you never know, we could do the double again. That would be incredible.”
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