Hursley Park Ladies 2018
There were a few changes for the 2018 season. A new T20 tournament, the ECB National KO, was launched, and the Southern Premier League added a T20 element (with two games on the day against the same club) to complement the 50 overs competition. The T20 league games and the ECB KO were designed to be on the same day as county fixtures, so all clubs were of course in the same boat – but the number of county players that we had were more than most!
The T20 league did not start well as we took time to adjust to the format, and suffered two heavy defeats to newly promoted Spencer. We did manage two wins against Bishop’s Stortford, and shared the results at Ansty (Baz scoring two fifties in the day), but a double defeat by Finchley left us one from bottom after the T20 element. Five wins from eight in the 50 over format ensured that we moved back up the table though and we finished second overall to runaway leaders Finchley. Dani came close to becoming the first HP player to register 3 centuries, falling for 96 against Spencer and we welcomed Tayz back from injury in July, having missed a season and a half, and she signalled a return to form with a fine 88 in the 50 over win at Bishop’s Stortford. Sian took 4-19 in the defeat at Finchley.
The ECB KO seemed a trophy possibility when we breezed through the first three rounds, a feature of which was the opening partnership of Sian Edwards and Sarah Attrill, who put on 215 against Headley and 107 against St Cross. In the regional final, against Devon side Topsham St.James the partnership didn’t come off and we were 0-2, but Sarah found a different partner in Courtney Lowman and they added 167 for the third wicket. Sian may have failed with the bat, but her spell of 5-8 secured the victory.
The regional win meant that we travelled to Wales for National Finals day. In the semi-final we faced Sessay from Yorkshire, and got home by three wickets chasing a total of 128, thanks largely to Baz’s 31 and Mistry’s crucial unbeaten 24. The final against old adversaries Finchley proved one step too far however, and we lost by 52 runs. A runners up spot in the first National KO was a good reward for a young side, many of whom were having their first taste of first team cricket.
The second eleven played only five Hampshire League games due to the new programme, winning three and losing two – the highlight being Becky’s maiden hundred, at Odiham, thought to be the first ever by a French female player anywhere in the world.
We ended the season by retaining the Ashford 8s title, and the under 16s won the league for the second successive season, under the captaincy of Jess Pritchett.
There were many good individual performances in what was a busy season for the club, but the standout performer was Sian Edwards. She scored two centuries as well as a 98 and totalled 838 runs, a new club record, beating the previous one by more than 200. Having now turned to leg-spin she broke the club record wickets for a season too with 36, and for good measure her 12 catches were the most ever by a non-wicketkeeper. The Player of the Year award was fairly straightforward.
Indoor Season 2017/18
A new addition to our indoor programme was to include a girls team in the under 14 boys league at Eastleigh. It proved to be a steep learning curve for the girls, skippered by Jess Pritchett, as we lost all eight matches, but valuable experience was gained as the girls transitioned into senior cricket.
The A team, with Kiddo once again to the fore with the bat, completed another unbeaten season – winning all ten league games and triumphing in the cup, where are final opponents were once again Parley, a match that we won by 25 runs after posting a total of 154 (Windsor 44, Edwards 27). The Parley side in that game included Hannah Saunders, Freya Cutler, Sarah Matthews and Courtney Lowman – all now at HP.
A much-changed B team finished fourth in the league, and in the men’s division we ended seventh with four wins and five defeats.
Mistry once again led the side to the league title at Dummer, where Anisa Ansar enjoyed a successful all-round season and many of our younger players were given opportunities.
Leading run scorer for the second successive indoor season was Emily Windsor, her tally this time being 526. Harriet Batchelor took 19 wickets to top the bowling charts. Becky Blake earned the Indoor player of the year award for her consistent run-scoring and captaincy of the young B team.