WITH the original fixture being postponed due to the wonderful British weather, Huntley’s inaugural ECB T20 Cup match against Hatherley and Reddings Cricket Club was relocated to the artificial wicket at Golden Hill Cricket Club on Sunday morning, as the winner would need to play the hosts in the afternoon, writes Duncan Foot.

We are very grateful to Golden Hill for their flexibility and help to get the fixture played.

So, after an early start, the team arrived in Bristol and promptly lost the toss, with H&R electing to field.

Starting with a scoreless first over, we then lost an early wicket in the shape of Emily Ryall in the second over, which bought in Holly Mayers to partner Emily Kibble. 

This partnership put 122 runs on the board before Kibble was bowled for 37 – including 3 fours – by Jess Roe at the start of the final over.

A short cameo performance by Katie Foot helped add another three runs to leave Huntley on 127-2 off the 20 overs. 

Mayers finished on 56 not out, which included five fours and many threes as the ball struggled to get through the damp outfield.

In reply, H&R had a similar start to the match, losing an early wicket, bowled by Katie Foot, before opener Alice Hill and Sophie Webster steered the team to 94 for 1 after 14 overs, leaving them needing less than 6 an over to win the match.

But a moment of frustration, created by leg spinner Eve Powell, bought Hill way down the wicket, only to miss the ball and allow Fran Cinderey to stump her on 58.

Two further wickets, in as many overs, flipped the balance of the match, and heading in to the final over H&R needed 14 runs to win the match. 

A four, followed by a second wicket for Mayers, and then a single left the opposition needing 10 from the last two balls for victory. 

A sweetly timed six off the penultimate ball by Hannah Maxwell set up a Hollywood-esque finish, but Huntley held their nerve and Mayers delivered a perfect length ball, wrapping up the win.

 After a lunch break following the earlier win, Huntley again were put in to bat, and again lost an early wicket, in fact two, to leave them on 3-2 off the first two overs and facing an uphill battle.

Some slow scoring, followed by the loss of Emily Kibble, heralded the arrival of Gemma Abbott to the middle, joining Katie Foot. 

The pair put on another 45 runs to the total before Abbott was bowled by Olivia Davis on 23 from 22 balls.

The wicket of Talia Scott was taken in the 18th over with the score on 68 before K Foot was caught in the last over on 34. The final score for the team was 78 from the 20 overs.

The low target set by Huntley was always going to give the hosts confidence, and so it was as they raced to 33 before losing their first wicket, caught behind by Fran Cinderey off the bowling of Charlotte Dunn.

Opener Prarthana Reddy helped add another eight runs before she was dismissed by Talia Scott. 

A final wicket, this time from the bowling of Katie Foot, left Golden Hill within touching distance of the total with seven wickets and seven overs in hand.

Hill were deserving winners, following some extremely tidy bowling (just three extras in the 20 overs) and a confident batting display. 

And considering our captain, Lara Foot, only arrived home from Tenerife at 5am, she did a great job in motivating the players to achieve a great team performance, keeping the energy levels high through both matches.

A special mention to Beth Powell, and debutant Kate Woolway, who worked tirelessly in the field, chasing down the balls that crept all the way to the corner  of the pitch.

The team now move in to the ECB T20 Plate competition in three weeks’ time, facing either Moreton or Stony Stratford.