At the end of another exciting season, almost 200 players and officials from league member clubs came together for the Presentation Evening, held at the Halton Stadium in Widnes on Saturday October 1, for a chance to reward the teams and individuals who have been successful this year.
This may have been the league’s highest scoring season to date, with as many as 13 centuries in the first division alone, made by batters from seven different clubs. Ellie Mason reached three figures on three occasions, despite only playing five matches, but the overall highest run scorer was Rachael Walsh, whose 580 runs took Leigh to their first league title. The top-flight’s leading wicket taker was Emily Page, who played a major role in Appleton’s second place finish.
Leigh won this year’s league championship after finishing bottom of division one in 2021, becoming the seventh different team to finish as leaders in the top division of the CWCL in the last decade. The period starting from 2012 – the last of Appleton’s three titles in a row – has seen only one occasion when a club has retained the first division title. It all adds up to a level of competitiveness and unpredictability that is the envy of every other English women’s club competition! Indeed, with Leigh having finished bottom of division one last year, and only reprieved from relegation due to an expansion of the top-flight, this could be the League’s Leicester City moment!
Furthermore, 10 different clubs took home a team trophy this year, with no club winning more than one prize. The closest fought division was undoubtedly Division 2, where Upton edged out Lindow by a single point, despite a second division record of 432 runs across the season from Heidi Cheadle. Along with Leigh’s Jaimie-Lee Strang, New South Wales 2nd XI captain Cheadle heralded a new era in the league this year as one of the first women’s overseas players to come to Cheshire specifically to play for a club team.
The players winning two individual trophies this year were Appleton’s Emma Barlow (as wicketkeeper in both Division 1 and T20 competitions), Jenny Wallace of Langley (best bowler and fielder in Division 4) and Stockport Trinity’s Emma Royle (leading wicket taker in T20 and also tied for most fielding dismissals in the short-form competitions). After winning the division 1 batting award on numerous occasions – albeit not this year – Barlow has certainly won more individual trophies than anyone else since the league’s awards ceremonies began back in 2007.
INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS
|BATTING AWARD (most runs)||BOWLING AWARD (most wickets)||FIELDING AWARD (most catches and run outs as fielder)||WICKETKEEPING AWARD (most catches and stumpings as ‘keeper)|
|DIVISION 1||Rachael Walsh (Leigh)
2nd Ellie Mason (Stockport Trinity)
|Emily Page (Appleton)
2nd Ali Cutler (Chester BH)
|Sophie Connor (Oakmere)
2nd Abbey Gore (Appleton)
|Emma Barlow (Appleton)
2nd Jaimie-Lee Strang (Leigh)
|DIVISION 2||Heidi Cheadle (Lindow)
2nd Lily Scudder (Upton)
|Lily Scudder (Upton)
2nd Philippa Dagger (Upton) & Libby Ackerley (Lindow)
|Rachel Warrenger (Hawarden Park)
3 players tied for 2nd
|Ellen McGowan (Upton)
2nd Heidi Cheadle (Lindow)
|DIVISION 3 WEST||Flo Seymour (Nantwich 2nd XI)
2nd Gemma Rose (Chester BH 2nd XI)
|Lucy McCarten (Chester BH) / Anna Bourne (Wistaston)||Hannah Thorley (Chester BH)
7 players tied for 2nd
|Alex Viggars (Porthill)
2nd Zoe Davies (Wistaston)
|DIVISION 3 EAST||Bethany Garforth (Greenfield)
2nd Helen Johnson (Didsbury 2nd XI)
|Zoe Cuthill (Greenfield)
2nd Charlotte Peacock (Hayfield)
|Charlotte Peacock (Hayfield)
2nd Jo Stephenson (Hawk Green)
|Ruth Lomas (Hayfield) / Helen Johnson (Didsbury 2nd XI)|
|DIVISION 4||Carolyne Jones (Langley)
2nd Amy Shaw (Heaton Mersey & Cheadle)
|Jenny Wallace (Langley)
2nd Charlotte Thompson &
Naz Hancioglu (both Lindow 2nd XI)
|Jenny Wallace (Langley)
2nd Olivia Randles (Heaton Mersey & Cheadle) & Becky Scholes (Stockport Georgians 3rd XI / North East Cheshire)
|Amy Shaw (Heaton Mersey & Cheadle)
2nd Kate Avery-Lofthouse (Stockport Georgians 3rd XI / North East Cheshire) & Emma Travis (Buxton)
|T20 COMPETITIONS||Ellie Mason (Stockport Trinity)
2nd Kate Harvey (Stockport Trinity)
|Emma Royle (Stockport Trinity)
2nd Abi Lamidey (Stockport Trinity)
|Nicole Fisher (Chester BH) / Emma Royle (Stockport Trinity)||Emma Barlow (Appleton)
2nd Rosie Davis (Didsbury)
President’s Award (Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Cricket in Cheshire): Sarah McCann
TEAM TROPHY WINNERS
|Division 3 West||Porthill Park Northern Stars||Chester Boughton Hall 2nd XI|
|Division 3 East||Hayfield||Greenfield|
|Division 4||Lindow 2nd XI||Langley|
|Division 5 West||Kingsley||Alvanley|
|Division 5 East||Macclesfield Treacle||North East Cheshire|
|T20 Divisional Competition||Appleton Tigers||Stockport Trinity Fire|
|Senior Knockout Cup||Nantwich Vipers||Stockport Trinity Fire|
|Development Knockout Cup||Greenfield||Hayfield|
More information on 2022 performances can be found in the Statistics document.
Alex Blake, who coached the Cheshire senior women between 2011 and 2014, was Master of Ceremonies for the event, which was once again superbly organised by Di Totty. Di chose Sarah McCann – league chair for more than a decade up until last year – as the recipient of the coveted President’s Award for an outstanding contribution to the sport in Cheshire.
The League was also delighted to welcome Laura MacLeod – currently director of West Midlands Women’s Cricket – as its special guest, and she presented the prizes to the winners and participated in a Q&A session with Alex, where she talked about her progression from grassroots cricket in Cheshire to an international career that included 13 Test matches, 73 ODIs and three IT20s. She spoke of the fact that women’s cricket can now be a career, but that sacrifices need to be made by those fortunate enough to make it to professional level. Laura also nominated an Ashes win in 2005 and her role in the first ever T20 international in 2004 as career highlights.
There was further recognition for a number of people connected with the League last Friday at the Lancashire and Cheshire Grassroots Cricket Awards and Lancashire Cricket Player of the Year Awards, where most of the league’s Officers were amongst the 750 attendees. At the event, held in Old Trafford’s The Point suite, Sarah McCann was again recognised for her 25-year commitment to the league and for the advances made during that time as she was the joint winner of Cheshire’s Growing The Game award. Long-time Alvanley CC stalwart Andy Bennion, now running the club’s women’s softball team, was the other recipient of this award. Stockport Georgians’ women’s manager Ray Bell scooped the Inspired To Play award, having also had a crucial role in the running of the league’s junior girls’ competitions in recent years.