Women’s XI edge to win in thriller

Cricket Shropshire’s Women’s XI edged to a dramatic one wicket victory in a low-scoring thriller against neighbours Staffordshire in their opening game of the 2024 campaign.

Shropshire’s last wicket pair, Caitlin Belcher and Zara Collinson, came together with six runs still needed for victory.

They managed to scramble five runs to bring the scores level before Belcher hit a boundary off the first ball of the 46th over to seal victory.

The tie in Women’s County 50 Over competition was a fitting contest played as one of the first games in front of the new pavilion at Allscott Heath CC.

Shropshire skipper Lara Jones had earlier won the toss and asked the visitors to bat first, and they were soon under early pressure as opening bowlers Kate Brazier and Ruby Wardle got to work.

They picked up two wickets apiece and combined with a run out from skipper Jones saw Staffordshire reduced to 37-5.

Lucy Shenton held the innings together with an unbeaten 30, but Amy Griffiths, who is this year a member of the Central Sparks Academy, claimed 3-37 from her ten overs as the visitors were dismissed for 118.

Shropshire’s reply started well as skipper Jones, Erin Newey (20) and Alex Hale (28) helped them reached 57 before the second wicket fell.

But then a middle-order collapse saw Shropshire in danger of failing to reach their target with Georgie Harrison claiming 5-28 before Belcher and Collinson seized their chance to claim the points.

Coach Darrell Corfield said: “From the moment we won the toss we looked in control of the game, even in the run chase, especially with the platform that Lara and Erin gave us when we batted.

“The middle order struggled, as you can do after being indoor for the last three months, but the cool heads of Zara and Caitlin saw us home in front of a good crowd. 

“It was a great start for us, especially putting out a young, inexperienced team with a lot of debutants. 

“A big thanks to Allscott CC, especially grounds person Jason Allen, whose hard work got the game on. We will look forward to coming back in a couple of weeks when we take on Nottinghamshire.”

The Shropshire Women’s County team is a partnership between Shropshire and Warwickshire which has been ongoing for a number of years. 

Warwickshire’s support consists of opportunities for appropriate players and coaching/managerial input throughout the season which we are grateful for and benefits both counties.

Pictures courtesy of Brian Clarke – more available via www.kidzinfocus.co.uk

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