As the umpires arrived at Hatherleigh to officiate the final of the super 8s competition, so did the rain. Covers were on and weather apps being regularly checked with the hope that the day would continue as planned. However as the rain continued and Plympton and Taunton Deane awaited the start of their game, it was decided to reduce the overs to 12 aside so all games between the two named teams and Exeter could be played. With all teams topping their groups, it was set to be an exciting day of cricket, despite the reduced overs.
Games of the day
Plympton vs Taunton Deane
Plympton vs Exeter
Exeter vs Taunton Deane
Game 1: Taunton Deane vs Plympton
With a few showers around still, the teams took to the field. Plympton had won the toss and elected to field on the damp outfield. Taunton Deane were maybe feeling the nerves of the day as two early run outs put Plympton on top. Sharing the wickets around, only Laura Currie, the wicket keeper batsman, reached double figures. However the low batting total of 50, was helped by the 50 extras from Plympton, leaving Taunton on a total of 100.
Plympton took to the crease, but like Taunton Deane struggled with communication and two quick run outs gave Taunton the upper hand. The consequent partnership of Milly Squire (27) and Evie Privett (18*) saw the total starting to rise, but the tight bowling of Taunton prevented easy run scoring and it was soon clear Plympton were not going to make the total. The last over from Millie Lusk cemented the win, as she bowled a 3 wicket maiden to leave Plympton on 57 for 6.
Game 2: Plympton vs Exeter
Exeter arrived and set up camp ready for their game. Sending captain Georgia Read out to do the toss, they won and chose to bat. From the start Exeter were very positive scorers, having youth on their side for running quickly between the wickets. Despite much tighter bowling from Plympton,the score quickly went up and off 26 balls, Georgia scored 32 runs, running 3 on the last to retire. All batters contributed to the score and at the close of innings, Exeter were 111 for 2.
Their energy continued in the field, with some great catches from Bea Willis to put Plympton on the back foot from the start. Milly Squire (36*) held her nerve as wickets fell around her, scoring 36(*) off 29 balls, but as no-one could stay with her Plympton ended their overs on 75, 36 runs short of the total required.
Result:Exeter win by 36 runs
With Exeter and Taunton winning won each, the competition came down to the last game..
Exeter won the toss and choose to bat
Game 3: Exeter vs Taunton Deane
Once again Exeter started energetically, but Taunton have been good in the field all competition, so Exeter found it more difficult to take their quick singles and uncharacteristically after 2 overs, had only scored 4 runs. However Georgia Read eventually found her feet and led the way, retiring again (30*). Finding it difficult to get through the field, Exeter could no longer turn those ones into twos and they were held to a score of 78 for 3 off their 12 overs.
Speaking to the Taunton captain afterwards she was not sure they had enough. They had seen the way that Exeter defended their total in the last game and knew that it would be difficult. There concerns were not helped by an amazing first ball wicket from Sophie Florides. Taunton started to rebuild and they looked comfortable, but the loss of 2 wickets in 2 overs changed the game and Exeter became louder in the field. The crowd became nervy and you could feel the tension. Karla Rose, who carried her bat and captain Laura Currie held their nerve and with just 2 balls to spare Laura hit the ball through the circle of fielders to score the winning runs. Taunton were the winners!
Result: Taunton Deane win by 5 wickets.
It was a great contest between two teams, which could have gone either way, showing the best of women's cricket.
Steph Hutchins, newly added to the Western Storm playing squad and Susannah Maxa, Chair of the Devon Women's League announced and results, leaving the players to pick up their medals and Taunton Deane the trophy.
Susannah thanked all concerned who organised the tournaments, particularly Kirsty Hambley who co-ordinated fixtures and results as well as Hannah Clark, who fine tuned all the rules. Susannah commented that she was extremely proud of the women's cricket in Devon and the fantastic amount of cricket they had achieved this year despite the unprecedented circumstances. Hannah Hughes, a player from Taunton Deane reiterated Susannah's comments about how professional and pro-active the Women's league were and thanked them for allowing them to join and participate.
The Women's league now look ahead to next year and make plans to decide on how to incorporate the new successful tournament into the fabric of ladies' cricket in Devon.