It has been a frustrating year for the Under 15 girls with a swathe of fixtures conceded by opponents. Luckily many of the girls have been able to play in the MCA Boys league but yesterday they had an opportunity to play some of the finest female cricketers in Middlesex. With only 3 teams contesting this year’s Bushy Park July Tournament, it was a winner-takes-all shootout between Ealing, North Middlesex and Bushy Park Girls.
Ealing vs Bushy Park Girls
The eight strong BPG batted first with openers Ella Waldron and Pubudika Punchihewa making a welcome return to the fold. Waldron has taken time out of cricket to pursue her football career while Punchihewa had been following more studious pursuits. Ealing struck with the first ball and from then on BPG were on the back foot. All the girls made a contribution but it was hard going against a well drilled Ealing attack. Jess Low managed a boundary before her departure and Simrat Khaira dug in, accumulating the second highest score of the innings. BPG salvation came in the form of Erin Goodwin, her innings of 23 was the highest of the whole match and she showed her class with a series of fours from powerful strokes. What would BPG do without Goodwin? She is one BPG ‘s most loyal and hardworking cricketers. Bushy Park Girls finished on 62 for 8 in 13.5 overs.
On paper this should have been an easy task for Ealing against a depleted Bushy Park Girls but Waldron had other things on her mind. Her first over included a wicket and just one run. Her second was a wicket maiden and Ealing were rocking on 6 for 2 after 3 overs. Khaira struck in the her first (and only) over and with a run out by a Punchihewa/Khaira combo Ealing were in more trouble at 12 for 4 in the 5th over. Ealing rebuilt and slowly they worked their way up towards the BPG total. Jess Low kept wicket and was a little more Bruce Grobbelaar than Bruce French, idiosyncratic and entertaining in her approach. Unfortunately the total was always within Ealing’s reach and they scooted past in the 12th over.
Ealing vs North Middlesex
In the midday heat the best girls teams in North and West London slugged it out. Ealing scored a big total and North Middlesex could never quite live with the ever increasing required run rate. Fair play to North Middx they went for it and you can’t dispute their courage. They were helped out by Sophia Stapleton-Parslow, Emily Bryce and Jess low because they too were short of players.
Ealing won and lifted the trophy. U16 Champions! Congratulations to a fine side, with some very capable and accomplished cricketers.
North Middlesex vs Bushy Park Girls
The last match of the tournament was a pleasant and cheerful affair, a great advert for the game of cricket. Despite the relentless heat, the mercury pushing beyond 30 degrees at the crease, no tempers threatened to boil over. North Middlesex batted first with two of their players comfortably running their scores into the twenties. Pubudika Punchihewa found some of her old magic with a double wicket maiden in her first over. The first wicket was clean bowled and the second a catch for wicketkeeper Emily Bryce. Laura Kimber got her first wicket for Bushy Park Girls, bowling the dangerous North Middlesex opener. Not to be outdone Izzy Morton also bagged her debut wicket and bowled a maiden over too. North Middlesex scored 75 for 4 in 15 overs.
Bushy Park Girls batted with desire and purpose in reply. They wanted to end their year with a bang. Sophia Stapleton-Parslow showed what a difference a season of batting in the middle can make. Here is a girl who showed real confidence, hitting some beautiful straight shots and racking up a rapid 12. Emily Bryce’s innings of 10 carried her beyond the century mark for BPG this season. Her good performances have bookended the season for the Under 15s.
It was another day of ‘long handle’ cricket for Jess Low. Her innings of 26* carried her into new territory. Known in her younger days as a bowler she is now the highest run scorer for BPG in 2018 with 225 runs, topping the U15 averages with 37.5. The win was in safe hands as Punchihewa and Khaira built a steady partnership, they finished the innings with the careful accumulation of 11 singles. Bushy Park Girls reached 77 for 2 in the 12th over.
Congratulations to Ealing CC on winning the tournament and to North Middlesex CC for upholding the spirit of cricket. Thank you to the two Ealing girls (Caroline and Keisha) who stayed behind to help with the final game. Thanks to all the umpires, scorers, scoreboard monitors and helpers throughout the day. And finally to NPL CC for hosting another successful tournament.
Check out the full BPG stats HERE.