Hursley Park Ladies 2009
The Southern League once again re-structured and we found ourselves in Division 1 (the third tier) for the 2009 season. This proved a big step up for what was largely an inexperienced squad, with our sole win coming near the end of the season against Dukesmead. This result was enough to edge us above fellow-strugglers Actonians and retain our place in the league, although at the time some were not sure if that was a good idea! We suffered eleven defeats - some by very big margins. Unbeaten Portsmouth comfortably took the title.
Openers Emma Bane and Kath Bond were once again mainstays of the batting but it was Jemma Green who topped the run charts as she became more consistent with the willow. Two fourteen year– allrounder Dani Ransley and wicket-keeper Eleanor Ingram – made great strides throughout a difficult season, while new arrival Amy Mistry brought some added control to the bowling line-up. Our cause was hampered by a back injury which caused Hazel Wilkinson to miss the whole season.
In contrast to the 1s, the second eleven had a very successful season with seven wins from eight games. The only defeat came against Alton, who remained unbeaten and took the title. The improvement of the 2s was down to a combination of our young players getting stronger and a bureaucratic quirk. Sarisbury Ladies had started the season in Southern League division 3, but folded after one game through insufficient numbers. Their three leading players (Hannah Clark, Carrie-Ann White and Alex Barton) all decided to move to Hursley but were not allowed to play in the Southern League because of that single appearance. As a result they greatly strengthened our Hampshire League side, scoring six half-centuries between them. Alex was left stranded on 98 at the non-strikers end on her debut against Aldershot. It was captain Phea Hewitt though who spearheaded the second team’s charge. With her left-arm medium pace bowling she had figures of 5-14 against St.Cross, 4-14 against Grayshott and 4-21 against Aldershot and went on to take 34 wickets in the season. That total remained a club record until 2018. Youngsters Frankie Barber, Kate Beecraft, Charlie Forster, Laura Feltham and Gemma Harper, all 15 or under, started to make an impression in senior cricket.
By now we appeared to have found the right formula for six-a-side tournaments, and once again lifted the Surrey sixes competition.
Indoor Season 2008/09
The passion for indoor cricket at the club continued and for the new winter campaign we entered a very young ‘C’ team into the South Hants League at Eastleigh, and also entered a new indoor league, based at Dummer, near Basingstoke.
Sarisbury were a strong addition to the league at Eastleigh, and they recorded early wins against our ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams – before the ‘A’s exacted some revenge with an 11 run victory. Jem took 4-7 in the win against St.Cross, while Kate Beecraft’s three wicket haul set up the first victory for the C team, against Burridge.
Portsmouth were again the main rivals, but the ‘A’ team were a powerful force in the league for the winter, and won all nine games, as well as overpowering Portsmouth in a one-sided cup final to clinch another double. The B team finished 4th, and the Cs, led by Kate Beecraft, were 7th.
The league at Dummer provided new conditions for us to encounter, but we adapted well and won the first five games, including three by margins in excess of 100 runs. We then came up against the Army side, the Green Machine, and lost a close encounter by 2 runs, but we won the remaining games and took the title in its inaugural year.
Jem had a stellar season with the bat, scoring 409 runs including three scores of over 40 – and also jointly topped the bowling charts with Helen Borrett on 15 wickets.