HUNTLEY Women were determined to put on a show against League leaders Hatherley & Reddings in the last match of the season, writes Duncan Foot.
There was still a mathematical chance that Huntley could win the league, however it would have needed them to overturn a 17 point margin, with just 20 points available.
Winning the toss, Captain Lara Foot put the hosts in to bat first, hoping that the overcast conditions early on would work to their advantage.
Openers Alice Hill and Fiona Tucker got off to a strong start, with Alice cracking off three fours before she was caught magnificently by Andie Collins off the bowling of Talia Scott.
The early wicket energised the team and set in motion a run of wickets.
Molly Hadfield was out next, bowled by an in-form Eve Powell, and then Fiona Tucker followed quickly after, again from Eve’s bowling, this time stumped by an impressive Talia Scott, whose reactions were lightning quick.
The fielding team worked extremely hard today to keep the run rate low, including a sliding stop from Gem Abbott on the boundary and superb fielding and accurate throw ins from May Kemp, keeping the home team under pressure.
Holly Mayers bowled out Deena Munn, leaving Hatherley on 23-4 to put Huntley in a commanding position.
A third wicket for Eve Powell came when she bowled Katie Dewhurst in the eighth over.
This was followed by an lbw for Lara Foot, and then another superb stumping for Talia off the bowling of Eve, who finished with 4-22.
Lara then closed off the bowling attack taking the last three wickets to leave Hatherley & Reddings all out for 67 in 15 overs, and finishing with figures of 4-18.
Hatherley had gained 2 bonus points through their batting which meant Huntley would need to keep all their wickets intact, as well as hitting the total, to the win the league.
After a light shower Huntley took to the field, with openers Katie Foot and Emily Ryall knowing they had a lot of pressure on them.
Some impressive bowling and tricky conditions soon had Huntley on the ropes on 5-4, – the league title was no longer possible but they still had the win to go for.
A superb partnership was formed between big hitting Holly Mayers and level-headed Eve Powell to get Huntley in sight of the finish line.
Eve Powell played some tremendous shots on the leg side, drawing praise from county captain Alice Hill, while Holly smacked a six (over the heads of the spectators) and five fours before being bowled when the scores were tied.
Captain Lara Foot came in next knowing a single run was all that stood between them and an impressive win.
Unfortunately that run came in the shape of a wide, to give Huntley a five-wicket winning margin, to finish second in the League by just two points.
Lara’s 10-wicket haul this season put her joint first in the league alongside Alice Hill, while Emily Kibble’s 280 runs, including a 90-not out, was the second highest in the league. These individual successes are only possible thanks to the performance and commitment of the whole team.
The team have one final match this season, in the 35 Over League, at home on Sunday, September 10 against Golden Hill.