SPORT

Staines Informer - - FRONT PAGE -

IT was a day for records at Short Lane as Ash­ford Ladies pro­duced their high­est ever to­tal of 278-7, set­ting them up for their big­gest win.

They put vis­i­tors Wok­ing­ham to the sword, ham­mer­ing them by a colos­sal 201 runs in the Women’s South­ern League, Ang­harad Purser pro­duc­ing a fine knock.

Put into bat, they be­gan with pos­i­tive in­tent, El­ize Brown soon find­ing the bound­ary, but two quick wick­ets meant they had to re­group and Becky Halls be­gan to re­build the in­nings with Jenny Tip­pell.

Grad­u­ally, they got things back on track, Halls the steady­ing in­flu­ence as Tip­pell played her shots. They added more than 70 to­gether be­fore Tip­pell fell for 42, bring­ing Purser to the crease. She took her time to set­tle in, then be­gan to up the pace, hit­ting the ball cleanly all round the wicket.

Wok­ing­ham were toil­ing in the field, on the hottest day of the sum­mer so far, but Ash­ford knew they could not af­ford to take the pres­sure off.

Halls was out for 48 but Purser was well sup­ported by Dani Gre­gory, Yolandi Maynier and Han­nah Mer­chant, and be­gan to cut loose, hit­ting bound­aries at will.

Hav­ing scored 32 off the last 15 balls she had faced, Purser had passed her maiden 50 and looked to be on course for three fig­ures when she mis­judged a shot and was caught for a fine 85 off 81 balls.

With only eight balls re­main­ing Ash­ford were still eight runs away from max­i­mum bat­ting points, and with a new player at the crease it looked like they would miss out.

How­ever, Mer­chant was joined by Ali McCreedy, play­ing her 100th league match for the club, and the pair added an­other 16 runs to se­cure the points, McCreedy hit­ting 13 from only five balls.

Wok­ing­ham faced an up­hill task, need­ing more than six runs per over, and soon found them­selves in trou­ble, Han­nah Mer­chant pick­ing up two quick wick­ets, one bowled, the other caught by Tip­pell.

Leg spin­ner Gre­gory was called into the attack and took Ash­ford’s third wicket with the score on 27.

Two more fol­lowed with­out any ad­di­tion to their score, Maynier tak­ing the first thanks to a good catch by Sarah Tay­lor, then Gre­gory hit­ting the stumps again to record her best bowl­ing fig­ures for the club. Wok­ing­ham’s lower or­der showed some re­solve and edged the score up to 44 be­fore an­other catch by Tay­lor gave Brown a wicket.

An­other part­ner­ship de­vel­oped, with runs com­ing a lit­tle more eas­ily for the vis­i­tors, and it took an ex­cel­lent pick up and throw by Mer­chant to achieve a run out, leav­ing Ash­ford need­ing only one more wicket for vic­tory.

It came with the last ball of the 28th over, Tip­pell smash­ing the stumps to fin­ish the in­nings in style and com­plete her side’s su­perb win by a clu­brecord mar­gin.

“We’ve had some dis­ap­point­ing re­sults this year but our team spirit has re­mained strong,” said McCreedy.

“We have never lost be­lief in our­selves.

“Hard work in prac­tice, led by coaches Daniel and Ben Sim­per, has paid off, with the whole team con­tribut­ing to an out­stand­ing per­for­mance. We hope to carry on this form for the re­main­der of the sea­son.”

Pic­tures: Alison McCreedy.

Purser: Hit the right notes as her team won by 201 runs.

Sup­port with bat and ball: Yolandi Maynier.

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