Rhi­anna has Wok­ing­ham danc­ing to her hit tune

Staines Informer - - SPORT - Cricket

A FIRST South­ern League Cham­pi­onship win has boosted con­fi­dence for Ashford Ladies who were still search­ing for their maiden vic­tory at the higher level prior to fac­ing Wok­ing­ham on their trav­els – Rhi­anna Southby the star.

A strong all-round per­for­mance saw them run out com­fort­able win­ners by 60 runs to prove they are wor­thy of their place in the divi­sion.

With Becky Halls in sup­port, Southby led the way for the vis­i­tors, pun­ish­ing loose de­liv­er­ies while treat­ing good balls with the care they de­served.

De­spite a damp out­field she was soon find­ing the bound­ary, deal­ing par­tic­u­larly well with a few high full tosses and show­ing the form which has taken her into the se­nior Sur­rey squad at only 15.

Her 50 came up shortly af­ter the drinks break and she went on to make 72, her high­est score for Ashford, be­fore she was bowled with the to­tal on 92.

Katie But­ler kept the run-rate up with three bound­aries in her 29, and some powerful hit­ting from Yolandi Maynier and Ang­harad Purser took the fi­nal score to 178.

Jenny Tip­pell led the Ashford at­tack with the ball and tore the heart out of Wok­ing­ham’s re­ply with a dev­as­tat­ing spell of 4-4 in her first four overs.

Un­der skip­per Ju­lia McQuitty the hosts ral­lied to 54-4, then Maynier got into the ac­tion with a wicket and a run out.

Once again McQuitty stead­ied her side, and the score had passed 100 when Maynier pulled off an­other run out with a fine piece of field­ing. Han­nah Mer­chant re­turned to the at­tack to claim the key wicket of McQuitty for a hard-fought 44, and Ashford were almost home. Halls turned to Sarah Tay­lor, who needed only 10 balls to take the fi­nal two Wok­ing­ham wick­ets, the last one caught by Tip­pell.

Ashford’s first win at this level marked a proud day for ev­ery­one at the club, es­pe­cially Halls and Ali McCreedy, who have been with the side for all of the long jour­ney from its be­gin­nings at En­gle­field Green, and through a spell at Lale­ham be­fore fi­nally find­ing its home at Ashford.

A cham­pi­onship win – proof of what can hap­pen for those who dare to dream.

Dou­ble act: Rhi­anna Southby is con­grat­u­lated by Becky Halls, right, on reach­ing her 50.

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