Tornadoes cap off remarkable season
Last night (Wednesday 18th November) representatives from Thornbury’s Women’s cricket team collected their trophy for winning the Bristol Softball League. For a team that only started training just over a year ago, the first year has been exceptional - including a once in a lifetime invitation to represent Gloucestershire at Lord’s in the summer too.
Led by the inimitable Harry Hawkins and ably supported by ex-professional cricketer Simon Hinks, the women first started training as a way to try out a new sport (and maybe get a break from the kids!). Quickly people’s competitive spirits started to emerge and a steely determination from many to nail the basic batting...whilst taking out the stresses of the day in the process! Balls were flying and so were the smiles, as bats started to connect and new shots were being learned.
Bowling proved to be a completely different challenge for everyone and it’s safe to say that each session was accompanied with a fair amount of frustration and swearing! Thankfully the coaches remained calm in the face of everyone’s rage - things slowly started to slot into place and wickets began to fall.
Then came the matches. It was decided early on to enter into two leagues - Stroud & Bristol, to give the 40-strong squad more playing opportunities. The Bristol league started with a bang and soon the ladies were on an unbeaten track, which they maintained for the entire season. The Stroud league proved to be a tougher nut to crack but plenty of lessons were learned and the ladies upheld the Thornbury values of playing fairly and with smiles on their faces.
As the season progressed and time pressures on the coaches ramped up, there was additional support and expertise from other coaches including Stuart Houghton and Matt Scarborough, which has been greatly appreciated. Everyone comments on how keen the ladies are to learn and as the season has wound down, it’s safe to say that the whole squad misses their cricket.
The nights have got darker and COVID continues to rear its ugly head, meaning training opportunities have been limited. The ever-supportive coaching crew has welcomed “Magic Mike” in to the mix and the ladies are taking every training window that comes their way; including some introduction to hardball training sessions that the Gloucestershire Women’s Team ran at the County Ground recently. Which was universally loved by all involved! A huge thank you to Sid, Lily, Naomi and Chloe.
Next year is looking exciting - with an indoor softball league due to start in January, plans for more outdoor softball again once the season begins, and some toe dipping in to hardball with a few friendlies.
In all the future of women’s cricket at Thornbury is looking bright and it’s exciting to see the club support this emerging part of the sport.
Camilla Rigby, TCC Women's player