IPPLEPEN Cricket Club will be developing their provision for women’s cricket this summer with the launch of a new team playing hardball friendlies and a dedicated training night.
The new team is the synergy of two separate projects that have been running in recent years.
Firstly, after two seasons of the DCB's Wine and Wickets program, the club have a group of mums and adult women who are ready to progress from playing softball cricket into the hardball version.
Allied to that, after several seasons of progressing through junior age-group cricket, Ipplepen have a nucleus of 14-16 year old girls ready to take the next step into women’s cricket.
Put the two together and there is the perfect mix for a women's team who will be playing friendly matches in 2018 whilst pondering a potential move into more structured competition in 2019.
Overseeing the group is Zoe Aspinall, a qualified coach who has previously coached and captained a women’s team at North London CC before recently relocating to South Devon.
Although her role for this season will be mainly from the sidelines - she is expecting her first child later in the year - Zoe brings much-needed experience of running a team and developing new players.
Also adding support to the group is coach Paul Harding - a well-known face in South Devon junior cricket circles from his work with the District girls’ age groups - who will be taking some training sessions whilst Aspinall is on maternity leave.
The women’s group will be training on Thursday evenings from the end of April at Ipplepen's Moor Road ground, with the option of pre-season nets at the Ashmoor Centre, Ashburton, in March if there is enough interest.
Chris Partridge, the head coach at Ipplepen, said this summer’s project is a natural extension of the ‘flagship’ season in 2017.
"We have continued to develop our provision for girls and women year after year,” said Partridge.
“2017 was a flagship season for us, not only playing a first women’s hardball game, but also hosting a Western Storm training camp and having two of our under-13s girls - Harriet Duke and Darcy Thomas - selected in the Devon training squad."
"2018 will be another step forward. We are delighted to have Paul Harding providing some coaching and by giving the group their own training session on a Thursday, it allows the players to develop more skills by being able to access the nets and take part in middle practise."
Anyone aged 14-plus interested in playing women’s cricket at Ipplepen CC - including complete beginners - should contact Partridge on 07887 513 800.