The St Mary’s Year 9&10 girls team traveled to the County Finals at Ashington Leisure Centre today, after winning the City Finals in February. Game 1 of the group stage was against Ponteland.
The game started very badly for St Mary’s with Lily Young, Helen Dooner and Gianna Foster all bowled by the opening bowler who bowled very accurately and was too fast for the St Mary’s batters. Grace Taylor was then caught out off the roof after the ball became stuck in the lighting and then fell down for the simple catch leaving St Mary’s in real trouble at 6 runs for 4 wickets. Rebecca Leitch and Lucy Hobbs steadied the ship with a good partnership and some safe shots and started to build the score. Lucy retired shortly after for a well-made 15 not out leaving Rebecca Leitch, Thea Cowie and Ellen Clarke to see out the innings and get St Mary’s to a respectable total of 73.
Grace Taylor started the innings brilliantly, smashing the stumps with her first ball to remove the opening batter. The Ponteland batters started to score well but were stopped in their tracks by an excellent over from Gianna Foster, with Thea Cowie taking an excellent catch behind the stumps. Ponteland had saved some stronger batters for down the order and started to score heavily, but the girls didn’t give up and kept working through the game to limit the score as much as possible. Some excellent decision making from Lucy Hobbs got a vital breakthrough for St Mary’s before Gianna came back on with another excellent over, again taking a wicket to get St Mary’s back in the game. Several shots fell just out of reach of St Mary’s fielders and Ponteland managed to score the winning runs with 1 over to go. A good effort in the field from the girls but they had unfortunately left themselves too much to do after a slightly below par batting performance.
St Mary’s played Queen Elizabeth A in game 2 of the group stage in a game they had to win to progress through to the semi-finals. The girls batted much better in this innings, with Georgia Wiseman and Chloe Swinbanks taking their time to avoid losing wickets early like the previous innings. Georgia retired for 15* and was quickly followed by Helen Dooner who hit 4 big shots to score 16*. Lucy Hobbs and Grace Taylor were out cheaply but Lily Young finished the innings well to get St Mary’s to a total of 63.
Grace Taylor again start the innings perfectly, taking a wicket with her first ball again to dismiss Queen Elizabeth’s top performer. Lucy Hobbs then followed her lead with another wicket in the second over. Queen Elizabeth hit several big shots to push the score along and had excellent strength in their batting depth. Gianna Foster again bowled well to limit the scoring, again picking up another 3 wickets thanks to well-taken catches by Lucy Hobbs, Lily Young and Grace Taylor. St Mary’s continued to pick up wickets, with Helen Dooner and Lucy Hobbs adding to their victims on the day. The game was tight until the end but unfortunately for the girls Queen Elizabeth’s passed the St Mary’s total with an over to go.
This put the girls in the 5th and 6th place play-off against Prudhoe. Lucy Hobbs again lost the toss and St Mary’s were asked to bat first. Thea Cowie and Ellen Clarke were run out early but Helen Dooner scored heavily again to get the scoreboard moving. Chloe Swinbanks then came in and played some brutal shots in her best innings of the day, hammering a massive 6 and retiring within 7 balls. Lucy then continued the St Mary’s attack and was very clever in her placement, picking gaps in the field and running well. Helen and Chloe then came back in at the end of the innings and boosted the scoring well to give St Mary’s their best total of the day with 90 runs.
Prudhoe started the innings well and were very sensible in their batting, hitting big shots when they could and making sure they scored runs from every ball by hitting the ball and running well. Helen Donner got the breakthrough with an excellent delivery, bowling her opponent. Prudhoe continued to score well but Grace Taylor, Lucy Hobbs and Gianna Foster all took wickets to limit Prudhoe wherever possible. It came down to the final over of the innings, with Prudhoe needing 9 to win the game. Things started brilliantly for St Mary’s with 2 dot balls, but Prudhoe then scored from the following 3 to need 3 runs to win from the final ball. St Mary’s reorganised the field to force a big shot but were desperately unlucky when an outside edge flew into an uncovered area giving Prudhoe the win by 2 wickets. A heart breaking end to the competition for the girls but an outstanding achievement to win the City Cup to make it to the County Finals. The team spirit and attitude of the girls throughout the competition has been a credit to the school.
Players of the day.
Gianna Foster – the best bowling of the day and one of the leading wicket takers in the competition. Gianna was very accurate with her bowling and took 5 wickets in 24 balls, only conceding 8 runs.
Helen Dooner – Helen was the top scorer on the day, retiring twice in 3 innings and hitting some excellent shots including several huge 6’s.
Lucy Hobbs – Lucy struggled with some bad luck with the bat but more than made up for it with some excellent catches and fine bowling.