Monday 25th November saw the Devon Women's Cricket Association hold their AGM, as as well as the traditional awards, there was much to celebrate as the women's game in Devon continues to go from strength to strength. While the league sadly see the departure of Axminster from the 1st Division, there are two new arrivals in the 2nd division of Exeter CC and Ipplepen CC. Both these clubs have been working hard to develop and support their girl's sections and the rewards are that they are now able to field a ladies' hardball team.
We also have a new team entering the 1st division - Taunton Deane, who you will notice are not in Devon! Somerset do not have their own hardball league for ladies and so this year Taunton Deane, who are ideally situated just across the border, have requested entry into the Devon league so that they can play some fixtures. This will give time for other teams to develop in Somerset while giving our first division teams in Devon a new challenge for the new season. Devon is very proud of it's active and sustainable Ladies hardball offer and the importance of supporting this by growing girl's sections at clubs was a message clearly put forward by Susannah Maxa, the Chairperson and Ann-Marie Presswell, Women and Girl's Development Officer.
The Women's League are now starting to work more closely with the Devon League and have now aligned the rules for their Sunday 35 over games more closely to the current rules of the lower Saturday leagues, as well as working efficiently to order resources for next season. They have also agreed a more flexible start time to try to ensure that the possibility of late finishing games is not a barrier to people playing. The provision of two umpires for games in both divisions was a very welcome one and fully supported by the DACO Representative in attendance, Pete Bamber.
Also in line with the Devon League, the Women's League have adopted the Disciplinary Regulations should they need to use them. This resulted in the new post on the committee of Disciplinary Officer, a role taken on by Jan Witheridge from North Devon. Jane White from Sandford also stepped up to take on the role of Media Officer and will be reporting on the women's fixtures during the season so that the game is promoted. All the elected committee and their contact details are listed by following this link.
Before the close of the meeting, league cups were presented and achievements celebrated.
Plympton Ladies had an excellent season. They remained unbeaten all season and were also one of the final teams in the Kia Super Smash Competition in the summer, attending the final at The Kia Oval in September, where they were runners up. Alex Carr was there as their representative to collect the trophy.
Sandford Ladies were the winners of the second division. They also had an excellent season, which Lottie Miles breaking club batting records. As well as winning promotion into the first division, Sandford took both trophies for the Hatherleigh and Exmouth festivals. The next season looks very good for them as Lottie captains a good mix of young and experienced players into the first division.
The final award was given for Player of the Season and this is voted for by the clubs, as they nominate a player from the opposing team for each game. While there were lots of nominations across all clubs, which shows the excellent spirit of cricket in the ladies league, the winner was Charlotte Massey, who plays for Paignton Cricket Club. Congratulations Charlotte - as great win for you and a real compliment to the team who were playing in the hardball league for the first time in 2019.
Susannah Maxa commented that it is a really exciting time for ladies cricket in Devon, as a softball league starts to develop and there is a real emphasis on the growth of the girls game. She thanked everybody who makes this possible, especially her Executive Committee, Kirsty Hambley and Hannah Clark and obviously the managers coaches, players and volunteers who make it all possible and was looking forward to a new and exciting season ahead for all.