Thornbury Ladies beat an experienced Golden Hill side by 13 runs in the Bristol Wednesday league to remain clear at the top of the table.
Skipper Helen Newman won the toss and stuck to a proven formula in choosing to field first against Golden Hill on Wednesday night.
Experienced batters Emma (Glos player) & Lizzie looked comfortable at the crease as they accumulated 22 runs for the first pair without losing a wicket. Thorns needed some inspiration, but it came not from a bowler but from the athletic marauding figure of Olivia in the covers. Pouncing on some indecision she gathered a drive and calmly threw to Helen for the first wicket. In the 8th she repeated the feat but with a direct hit off Hazel's bowling to leave Golden Hill on 44-2 from 8 overs.
Olivia bowled the 9th herself and delivered an unplayable delivery cleaning up Rachel. Still not finished, Olivia returned to her position in the covers and ran out Maddie with another instinctive direct hit. Confidence was rising within the team, with Golden Hill shell-shocked. With the 3rd ball of the 10th over, Anjali ran & gathered and performed another direct hit from an almost impossible angle leaving Golden Hill on 53-5 after 10.
Skipper Helen bowled the 11th and with Golden Hill chasing runs under pressure, debutant Camilla (aka the rocket) lived up to her name, sprinting to her right and throwing majestically off balance to run out Rachel. Another Thornbury debutant and county youth player Josie Drury bowled the last, firing down quick seamers from her tall & imposing frame. But of course Olivia was not done yet and performed yet another direct hit to run out Rachel again. A dejected Golden Hill eventually finished on 65-7, losing 4 wickets in the last 3 overs.
Needing only 30 to win (assuming no wickets lost) the ladies had victory in their own hands. This meant less than 3 an over, so calm heads were required. Hazel & Anjali opened up and began to chase down the target. A mix up in the 2nd over and an excellent piece of fielding resulted in Anjali narrowly being run out but with extra's and some sensible batting left Thorns 17-1 after the first pair.
Olivia & Helen batted the middle overs and although Olivia lost her wicket to a snorter from Lizzie, she gathered her composure and straight drove Rachel for an elegant 4. Helen played shots both sides of the wicket, picking off Maddie with the pair putting on a further 17 runs for the loss of 1 wicket.
The final pair of Josie & Camilla needed only 7 runs off the remaining 4 overs to seal victory. Josie, taking strike, watched her first ball to get a feel for the pace & bounce of the wicket then launched into Cilphi's second delivery hitting the back wall for a glorious 6 - remarkable talent & it was greeted with huge roar from her teammates.
Releasing the pressure off Camilla and with victory all but guaranteed, the pair clipped any loose deliveries picking up singles at will, eventually securing a winning margin of 13 runs. Considering the team had 2 debutants (Josie & Camilla) it was yet another competent display from an outstanding squad.
Special mention to 13-year-old Josie on debut, showcasing her undoubted talent with both bat & ball, highlighting our strong youth policy. The headlines & player of the match however, goes to Olivia Nichols! Her remarkable display in the field was a thing of beauty. Alert & aware of the batters movements, she showed no hesitation all evening performing 4 run outs (2 direct hits). This was in addition to a wicket and a second top score of 9, including a perfectly executed straight drive for 4.
Both Thornbury teams remain clear at the top of both leagues. The league table from this particular match can be viewed HERE.
Batting Stats (Runs-Balls faced-Outs): Hazel: 1-10-0 Anjali: 6-10-1 Olivia: 9-11-1 Helen: 4-9-0 Josie: 12-10-0 Camilla: 5-10-0
Bowling stats (Overs-Runs-Wkts): Anjali: 2-10-0 Hazel: 2-13-1 Olivia: 2-10-1 Camilla: 2-9-2 Helen: 2-12-2 Josie: 2-12-1