Hosts thrash Ash and up Ansty
Gill Bonham carries her bat with fighting 33 but it’s another painful Southern League defeat
ASHFORD were undone again in their troubled Women’s Southern League Championship campaign, this time by 126 runs at Ansty in Sussex.
County fixtures scheduled for the weekend should have left both sides without their top players, but while Ashford’s Rhianna Southby was on Surrey duty, a waterlogged pitch meant Ansty’s Sussex contingent were able to contribute to their win.
Batting first, the home side got off to a steady start, and had almost 50 on the board before Yolandi Maynier made the breakthrough for Ashford.
A good catch from Gill Bonham gave Elizabeth Hackney the next wicket, then Maynier struck again, diving to her left to take a quite brilliant one-handed catch off her own bowling.
Ellen Burt, came to the crease with her side on 74-3, and kept the scoreboard moving at about four an over.
She offered a couple of difficult chances early in her innings, Maynier unable to cling on to another caughtand-bowled chance and Hackney getting a hand to the second, doing well to stop a boundary.
Ashford bowled well, and worked hard in the field, Jenny Tippell, Sarah Taylor, Angharad Purser and Tan Mustafa covering a lot of ground, making up for their side fielding only 10 players.
Another wicket, this time for Tippell, kept Ashford in the game, but Burt began to hit out, and with support from Natasha Sole, the runs began to come more quickly.
They had added more than 70 together when Sole hit Angharad Purser to square leg, where Alison McCreedy took the catch. Purser struck again in the same over to take the sixth Ansty wicket, but with seven overs left, Burt was in charge, striking boundaries almost at will.
Her partners found the going more difficult, Hannah Merchant’s final spell bringing her two well-deserved wickets, including a catch by Tippell, but Burt had an answer to everything Ashford could throw at her, and finished unbeaten on an impressive 113, which included 16 fours. Knowing they needed what would be a new club record total of 237 to win the match, and missing several key bats, Ashford were under pressure from the start.
Hannah Merchant fell to a superb catch by Burt with the score on only four.
Skipper Katie Butler came in to steady things, and with Bonham, played watchfully, punishing any loose deliveries, and offering sound defence against the rest.
The score had reached 49 when Butler chopped a ball on to her stumps for 21, which brought Tippell to the crease.
After a careful start, she was soon finding the boundary with some powerful shots, and her 20 runs added some impetus to the innings.
Angharad Purser was next in, and again was not afraid to play some shots, with Bonham taking the score to almost 100.
With thoughts of winning long past, Ashford’s focus was on batting out their 45 overs, and denying Ansty as many bowling points as possible. They made it with the loss of only five wickets, Bonham carrying her bat for a marathon innings when her team needed her, finishing on 33, but having guided her side through to thwart Ansty’s hopes of maximum points from the game.
Bonham: Defiant with the bat for her team.