MCC Foundation Hub Guildford U15 Girls narrowly lose Lord's final
Having fought their way through the earlier rounds, beating Slough, Reading, Croydon and Felsted Hubs in the process the Guilford girls found themselves at Lord's on Saturday to play the North area winners Bolton.
At the semi-final at Eton College earlier in the month, the Guildford boys narrowly missed out on also being at the final with the 3-team event being decided on net run rate.
After a tour of the ground and lunch in the players' dining room, the girls set up camp in the Lord's changing room and prepared to bat having won the toss.
A flurry of early wickets saw Guildford 42-3 just before the halfway stage and meant a period of consolidation. A partnership of 41 for the 5th wicket between captain Neharika Shenai and Lauren Jackson, provided a base for a final push towards their final score of 108-7 with captain Shenai eventually run out sacrificing her wicket for the team on 43.
What looked like it could be a competitive total looked less so as the Bolton openers took advantage of some wayward bowling early on to race to 64 before they lost their first wicket at the end of the 10th over. This didn't derail the chase and it wasn't until the loss of Lily Bailey in the 16th over that Guildford managed to start to wrestle the game back in their favour.
A succession of dot balls and wickets followed as a little panic started to enter the Bolton camp. With two overs to go one of the umpires unfortunately was taken unwell causing a break in play and the chance for the coaches to talk to the players. The clear message to the Bolton players was to run for everything and, with wickets still in hand, this message enough to get them to the last over with 4 to win.
A potentially very tense final over was averted by Neve Bolton who calmly flicked the ball over the shorter leg side boundary for 6.
A great experience for everyone involved and a great advert for Women & Girls cricket especially in Lancashire and Surrey.
Trials for the 2023 MCC Hub programme, open to state school students only, commence in January and details will be published on this website in the autumn.
Photos copyright Pete Overy