Hayes 1st XI v Hursley Park 1st XI
Played at Hayes
Southern Premier League
Won by 17 runs
2014 had been a tough second season for us in the Premier League, and we had lost all seven games prior to travelling to Hayes for our final league fixture of the season. We still had a chance of staying up due to Bentley being deducted points, but had to win the last game to do so, and the tough challenge ahead was against a Hayes team that had to beat us to take the title.
Runs were at a premium when we won the toss and batted, but Frankie Barber battled away for 30 overs to put together 37 and a few others chipped in with useful contributions to take us up to 145 before the last wicket fell. It was a competitive total, but probably below par.
Charlotte Taylor was skippering the side for the day, and she opened the bowling in tandem with Rach Carrick. Rach started with a wide, but then proceeded to bowl a top-class spell – consistently beating the bat, an event that was usually accompanied by a disparaging comment that could be heard by the unimpressed crowd and waiting batters. Tayz made two early breakthroughs at the other end, one a smart stumping by Eleanor Ingram – and after 14 overs the home side had only reached 16-2, Rach having bowled five successive maidens. The Taylor/Ingram combination struck again before the skipper finished her allotted ten overs with an impressive 3-15.
The HP girls were sensing the opportunity and the fielding supported the bowlers as Harriet Batchelor reduced Hayes to 27-4. But the home side were striving for the title and they fought back as Hannah Phelps and Phoebe Franklin added 76. A sharp catch by Sarah Attrill off Hannah Timmins gave us a glimmer of hope, and then Rach and Baz came back on to turn the match on its head. Rach eventually got the wicket she deserved and finished with 1-9 from 10 of the best overs delivered by an HP player. And at the other end Baz sensationally took three wickets for no runs in a spell that included a diving slip catch by Sian. Home batter Kathy Leng was injured and hoping not to be required but had to come out at number 10 with a runner. The score edged up to 128, but a runner always causes a certain amount of confusion amongst the batters and Ellie Musson and Eleanor combined to run the last player out, and we lived to fight another day in the Premier League. Bath (on the phone to us throughout the afternoon for updates) celebrated our win too, as they lifted the League title.